Perez can't contain Nats in defeat

Perez can't contain Nats in defeat

at Viera, Fla.
Tuesday, March 27

Nationals at the plate: After being robbed at the fence in the first inning, Austin Kearns hit an RBI single in the third and a two-run single in the fifth. Washington had four baserunners in the fifth, but two were caught stealing. Felipe Lopez had more success on the bases, stealing second and third before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Ryan Zimmerman.

Mets at the plate: Julio Franco put the visitors on the board in the second inning with a home run that hit the top of the right-field wall. Ramon Castro scored in the fifth after walking, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt, and then coming home on an RBI single from David Wright. Mike Carp added a solo shot in the eighth.

Nationals on the mound: In his last outing before the regular season, right-hander Jerome Williams pitched five innings, allowing two runs, walking four and striking out one.

Mets on the mound: Lefty Oliver Perez threw 5 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits and four earned runs. He was removed in the sixth for Willie Collazo, who finished the inning. Joe Smith tossed a scoreless seventh frame.

Grapefruit League records: Nationals 11-14; Mets 10-19-1.

Up next: The Mets return to Port St. Lucie, Fla., to face the Braves on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Ambiorix Burgos opposes fellow righty Kyle Davies.

The Nationals play split-squad games on Wednesday, with John Patteron facing the Orioles in Viera, Fla., and Joel Hanrahan taking on the Marlins in Jupiter, Fla. Both games start at 1:05 p.m.

Michael Phillips is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.