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Nationals 6, Astros 3

Nationals 6, Astros 3
VIERA, Fla. (AP) - Alex Cintron tripled, doubled and drove in four runs, leading the Washington Nationals past the Houston Astros 6-3 on Saturday.

Cintron, a non-roster invitee who signed a minor league contract with the Nationals in February, tripled in a run in the second inning, and doubled with the bases loaded in the fourth to drive in three.

"We haven't made a decision yet on Alex," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "He's a guy who's been up. He's valuable. He's a utility infielder. We'll just continue to evaluate him and see where he fits for us. It's a numbers game, so we're just going to have to wait and see."

Nationals starter Scott Olsen overcame three errors by shortstop Cristian Guzman to pick up the victory in his best outing of the spring. Olsen (2-1) pitched 5 2-3 innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on four hits with two strikeouts and one walk.

Guzman committed two fielding errors in the third inning, leading to two unearned runs. He also had a throwing error in the fourth inning.

"I'm most happy with the fact that we were able to pitch around the errors," Olsen said. "I was real happy we were able to limit the damage there, that we didn't let them blow the game open real early. It took me an inning and a half to feel comfortable out there, but once we got through that initial glitch, everything was fine, everything kind of clicked."

Reliever Joe Beimel, signed by the Nationals on March 18, made his spring debut, throwing one flawless inning.

Houston's Lance Berkman was scratched from the lineup due to biceps tendinitis in his left arm. He's day-to-day.

Astros starter Jose Capellan (1-1) pitched five innings, allowing five runs on six hits. Wesley Wright pitched a scoreless inning for the Astros, and Tim Byrdak pitched two innings of relief, allowing one unearned run.

Adam Dunn had two doubles, walked and scored two runs for the Nationals, while Nick Johnson singled, walked and scored two runs, and Jesus Flores drove in a run on a fielder's choice, singled and scored a run.

Notes: Shairon Martis and Jordan Zimmermann won the last two spots in the Nationals' rotation. ... The Nationals placed OF Wily Mo Pena on waivers, and reassigned INF Jose Castillo and OF Corey Patterson to minor league camp. Catcher Javier Valentin also was reassigned, but he has opted out to become a free agent. Pitcher Collin Balester was been reassigned to Triple-A Syracuse. ... Nationals pitcher Matt Chico was placed on the 60-day disabled list as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery that he underwent on July 3, 2008. The Nationals also selected the contract of first baseman Dmitri Young.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: March 28, 2009

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