for this game

Nationals toy with no-no, end long losing streak

May 12, 2007 - 5:56 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- With the Washington Nationals in danger of matching their longest losing streak in over six seasons and their offense struggling, it seemed like the right time to put an end to both.

Shawn Hill and Winston Abreu combined to pitch six hitless innings and Cristian Guzman had three hits and scored three runs as the Nationals recorded a 6-0 victory over the Florida Marlins on Friday.

The victory helped the Washington-Montreal franchise avoid its longest losing streak since the end of the 2000 season.

Hill (3-3) shut down the National League's highest scoring offense through five innings, walking two batters and retiring the other 15 Marlins hitters, including five by strikeout. He went out to warm up for the top of the sixth, when he was visited on the mound by manager Manny Acta and a team trainer, leaving the game due to a sore right elbow and a partial standing ovation.

"When he came in after the fifth inning, he said something to the trainer about maybe his elbow (being) a little tender," Acta said. "When he went out to throw, I saw a little playing with his arm."

"When I saw Manny coming out there, I knew I was probably gone," Hill said. "I'm more frustrated that I was out of the game and not healthy again. We all think it's from my left shoulder basically being weak and tired. My mechanics have been a little bit out of whack and putting stress on the elbow. It finally caught up to me."

Hill is expected to miss the next 7-10 days.

"Shawn Hill had some discomfort in the medial side of his elbow and it bothered him to the point that he came out," Nationals orthopedist Dr. Benjamin Shaffer said. "We're going to re-evaluate him and shut him down for now and get an MRI on the elbow Monday. It's probably more inflammation than anything else. The MRI will kind of reassure us of that."

Abreu relieved Hill and pitched a perfect sixth to prolong the no-hitter until reliever Saul Rivera allowed Josh Willingham's single to left to open the seventh inning.

"The longer you go, obviously, the more stressed you get (about getting no-hit)," Willingham said. "I actually thought it was going to get caught, but it snuck in there.

"The pressure kind of adds from at-bat to at-bat, as long as it keeps up. I think maybe a little added pressure goes on each person that continues to get out, but you obviously want to break it up as soon as possible because nobody wants to get no-hit."

Guzman's three singles helped him score in every inning the Nationals scored, as he crossed the plate on an RBI groundout from Ryan Church in the first and double from Church in the fourth that highlighted a three-run sixth. He scored his last run in the two-run seventh on a run-scoring single from Austin Kearns.

"It's been a while since that's happened (stringing hits together)," Kearns said. "We've been in ball games, we just haven't gotten over the hump. It's not like we're coming to the field and getting it handed to us every night."

Brian Schneider had three hits to extend his multiple-game hit streak to three and Church had two hits and two RBI for the Nationals. Prior to the win, Washington had been outscored, 37-18, during the eight-game slide with a .204 batting average.

"More than anything, it gets everyone back in better spirits around here," Schneider said. "Losing's losing and a loss is a loss, but we've been in games. It stinks losing Shawn. He's been our best pitcher, really, so far this year. They're going to be cautious with him."

"It's a sour taste (losing Hill) even after snapping the losing streak and winning a great ball game," Acta said. "The kid's been doing so great for us. We know this guy is a big part of our present and our future."

The victory was the Nationals' first in the month of May and the six runs the most they have scored since plating the same number in their last meeting against Florida on April 22. Two of their five home wins have come at the expense of the Marlins.

Rivera, Jesus Colome and Jon Rauch combined to keep the Florida offense off the scoreboard over the last three frames, wrapping up the team's second shutout of the season. The shutout was the first one handed to the Marlins.

Scott Olsen (3-3) was on the wrong end of the pitching masterpiece by the Nationals, as he surrendered four runs - three hits - and 10 hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

"Two bad pitches," Olsen said. "The one to Church (was) a slider, it was down, I think. I don't know, I didn't see a tape of it, but I think it was down, and he hit it pretty well. Then, the one to Schneider I know was up. It was right in his wheelhouse and that's one of the spots he can hit."

"He was fine," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "The sixth inning just kind of got away from us a little bit, but other than that, I thought he pitched OK."

The Marlins managed only four hits and committed three errors.

"As long as they are human people playing this game and not machines, there are going to be errors," Gonzalez said. "The only people that are not going to make any errors are you guys - and me - because we're not playing the game."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 3
    WASHINGTON 1 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 x 6 15 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: FLA - SCOTT OLSEN, LEE GARDNER (6TH), JORGE JULIO (7TH) AND MIGUEL
    OLIVO
    WAS - SHAWN HILL, WINSTON ABREU (6TH), SAUL RIVERA
    (7TH), JESUS COLOME (8TH), JON RAUCH (9

    May 11 9:47 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AUSTIN KEARNS SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A KEARNS ON FIRST, R LANGERHANS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 6 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.279, 2-FOR-3)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 11 9:19 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GUZMAN ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R CHURCH (.271, 1-FOR-3, 2 RBI)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 11 9:12 PM
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    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 11 8:53 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRIAN SCHNEIDER SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B SCHNEIDER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: N LOGAN (.111, 0-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 11 8:48 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY AUSTIN KEARNS SCORED RYAN CHURCH.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 3 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R BELLIARD (.273, 1-FOR-2)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 11 8:45 PM


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    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN CHURCH SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R CHURCH ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.263, 0-FOR-2)

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    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY RYAN CHURCH SCORED CRISTIAN GUZMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R ZIMMERMAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: FLORIDA 0
    WASHINGTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.267, 3 HR, 11 RBI)

    Marlins vs. NationalsMay 11 7:20 PM