for this game

Nationals fall in Robinson's final game at the helm

Oct 1, 2006 - 8:50 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Washington Nationals couldn't give Frank Robinson a memorable farewell.

In Robinson's last game as manager, Ramon Ortiz got just four outs as the Nationals closed their season with a 6-2 loss to the New York Mets, who finished an outstanding season with four straight wins.

The National League East Division winners, New York (97-65) will open the National League Division Series on Wednesday against Los Angeles.

On Saturday, the Nationals' informed the 71-year-old that he would not be coming back for a fifth season. In 16 seasons as a manager with Cleveland, San Francisco, Baltimore and the Montreal-Washington franchise, Robinson, compiled a career record of 1,065-1,088. His contract expires October 31.

After a great start in 2005, the Nationals finished 81-81. They were 71-91 this season.

After the final out, Robinson tossed baseballs into the crowd prior to entering the clubhouse. Several minutes after the game, he stepped onto the field to wave farewell to the fans.

"I'm kind of numb," Robinson said. "I can leave baseball as far as this is concerned, but I feel I have a lot to offer. It gets into your blood. It's been a joyful ride." New York general manager Omar Minaya, who had Robinson as his manager in Montreal for three seasons, enjoyed the tribute. "I think it was very Frank Robinson-like in that it was very spontaneous," Minaya said. "But, I think he feels like he still has a lot to give to the game."

The beginning of a sour ending for Robinson took place in the second inning.

David Wright led off with single before Shawn Green doubled to right. Julio Franco stroked a run-scoring single to center against Ortiz (11-16) for a 1-0 edge. Jose Valentin ripped an RBI single to right before Anderson Hernandez delivered a two-run triple to right-center for a 4-0 cushion.

After an out, Cliff Floyd and Paul Lo Duca added run-scoring hits to cap the scoring and end Ortiz' afternoon.

"We hope that (the hitting) translates into Wednesday when we play," New York manager Willie Randolph said.

"It's nice to finish up strong and get a nice little streak over the weekend," Randolph added.

That was enough for Guillermo Mota (3-0), who pitched a perfect eighth, to earn the win.

Starter Oliver Perez yielded a run, five hits and a walk in four innings for the Mets, who captured their first National League East title since 1988. They finished third in the division a year ago.

Ortiz allowed six hits en route to falling to 0-3 this season against New York.

Ryan Church had three hits and drove in a run for the Nationals, who finished at the bottom of the NL East for the third straight campaign.

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