The Nationals made history Thursday night, posting a 5-3 victory over Arizona in the first regular-season major league game in Washington D.C. since Sept. 30, 1971. The victory gave the Nationals a three-game winning streak and a share of first place in the NL East.
“Any time you’re in first place, it’s nice to be there as long as you keep it in perspective and understand that we haven’t done anything yet,” Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. “But it’s better to be there than trying to play catch-up.”
Washington third baseman Vinny Castilla, who sat out the previous two games with a sore right shoulder, went 3-for-3 with a double in the second, a two-run triple in the fourth and a two-run homer in the sixth.
The Nationals will send former Diamondback John Patterson to the mound against Arizona on Saturday, with the right-hander looking for his first win of the season.
Patterson did not pitch poorly in his first start, allowing two runs and six hits over seven innings of Washington’s 8-0 loss at Florida on Sunday.
Arizona, which had its four-game winning streak snapped Thursday, will counter with veteran right-hander Russ Ortiz.
Ortiz has pitched well against the former Montreal Expos during his career, going 11-5 with a 2.97 ERA in 17 starts.