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Orioles 7, Nationals 5

Orioles 7, Nationals 5
VIERA, Fla. (AP) - David Pauley made up for a forgettable first impression, and Baltimore Orioles catching prospect Matt Wieters flashed his power stroke.

Pauley, a last-minute substitute when left-hander Rich Hill was scratched from his scheduled start because of a sore left elbow, allowed a run and three hits in three innings of Baltimore's 7-5 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.

"I had a lot better movement on my sinker, kept the ball down a lot better today and got ahead of guys," said Pauley, who struck out three. The right-hander had allowed five runs in one-third of an inning Feb. 25 in a relief appearance.

"The biggest difference from the last time to today was getting ahead of guys, strike one, and being able to use my other pitches to keep them off balance a little bit. Last game, I didn't get ahead, and had to groove some fastballs," he said.

With the Orioles looking for starters to fill out their rotation behind right-handers Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara, Pauley wanted to make amends for his brief and ineffective debut. Pauley, acquired from Boston for reliever Randor Bierd in January, was 14-4 in 25 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket last year.

"Hopefully, they have a spot to give me an opportunity," he said. "Coming over here, I know there's a few openings. I was looking at myself as one of those guys who can step in and make a contribution."

Pauley's only mistake came in the third, when he served up a wind-aided homer to Nick Johnson, whose fly ball carried over the center-field wall.

Justin Turner and Wieters hit two-run homers, and Luke Scott had three hits and two RBIs for the Orioles.

Wieters, expected to be the Orioles' catcher of the future, hit his first spring homer, a shot to left field off Garrett Mock in the sixth. Wieters didn't care if winds blowing to 33 mph in that direction aided the drive.

"It felt pretty good," he said. "With the winds gusting out like that, you pretty much knew right away. But at the same time, it felt good to hit something solid."

All of Baltimore's damage came after Scott Olsen, acquired in an offseason trade with Florida, worked two scoreless innings in his Nationals debut.

Olsen allowed two hits and struck out two, a promising development on a day that began with Nationals general manager Jim Bowden's surprise resignation. Bowden has been linked to a federal investigation of the skimming of signing bonuses given to Latin American prospects.

"We went out there with a goal - just throw fastball, changeup," Olsen said. "We wanted to strictly work on the fastball command and I feel like we did that today."

Tyler Clippard, who gave up Turner's second-inning homer, took the loss.

Notes: OF-1B Adam Dunn left the Nationals in the eighth inning to join the U.S. team preparing for the World Baseball Classic in Clearwater, Fla. Dunn said United States manager Davey Johnson extended him an invitation Saturday night to replace an injured player. "You're going to play for your country and it's going to be a lot of fun," Dunn said. "It's good to get into serious games and kind of break up the monotony of spring." Dunn only agreed after talking to Washington manager Manny Acta. ... Nationals C Jesus Flores was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of a right elbow strain. He will undergo a precautionary MRI on Monday. ... Baltimore LHP John Parrish, who has been shut down for several days with left shoulder tendinitis, will begin throwing again as soon as he's cleared by team doctors, Trembley said. Parrish has had an MRI and received an injection in his ailing shoulder. ... The Orioles signed RHP Adam Eaton to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training. Eaton was released by Philadelphia on Feb. 27.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: March 2, 2009

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