Nationals 1, Angels 0

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Ryan Drese certainly didn’t pitch like a castoff in his debut for the Washington Nationals.

Waived by Texas and claimed by Washington last Friday, Drese was sensational in his first game for the Nationals, holding the Los Angeles Angels to two hits over eight innings of a 1-0 victory Wednesday night.

“I thought I was pitching all right there (in Texas),” said Drese, who was 4-6 with 6.46 ERA in 12 starts for the Rangers before they let him go.

“I’d been throwing the ball well, but I just hadn’t had the results. Tonight I threw the ball well and had the results.”

Frank Robinson liked what he saw.

“That was a terrific outing on his part,” the Nationals’ manager said. “He got a lot of ground balls and let the infielders make the plays behind him.

“He just made it look easy out there. He got ahead of the hitters, made some pitches when he had to and finished them off. He had a good sinker tonight.”

Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia obviously didn’t like the outcome, but paid the Nationals’ right-hander his due.

“Drese was kind of effectively wild, throwing off the plate a little bit, then getting in the zone,” Scioscia said. “He pitched a heck of a eight innings.”

Brian Schneider homered off Bartolo Colon in the sixth inning, giving the Nationals two wins in their three-game series matching NL East and AL West division leaders.

Reliever Chad Cordero worked out of his own bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth for his 18th consecutive save and 21st in 23 chances. He struck out Steve Finley, got Bengie Molina on a fly to short center field, and struck out Dallas McPherson to end it.

“That’s about as gutsy as it gets, really,” Robinson said of Cordero’s performance. “You can’t be in any worse jam than that—bases loaded and nobody out in a one-run ball game on the road.”

Washington’s 12th win in 13 games was uneventful, unlike Tuesday night’s when Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly was ejected in the seventh inning after pine tar was found on his glove. Robinson and Scioscia got into a verbal confrontation with both benches emptying although no punches were thrown.

Drese struck out three and walked four. The hits off Drese were Orlando Cabrera’s single in the third inning, and Adam Kennedy’s single in the eighth.

The 29-year-old Drese was 14-10 with a 4.20 ERA for the Rangers last year and was their opening day starter this year, but still was cut loose.

In his first game for Washington, Drese (1-0) ended a four-game winning streak by Colon (8-4). Colon allowed one run and eight hits in his second complete game of the season. He struck out two.

Schneider hit Colon’s first pitch in the sixth over the wall in right for his fourth homer.

The Nationals’ Jose Guillen, who was suspended by the Angels late last season for throwing a temper tantrum after being taken out of a game, was booed roundly every time he came to the plate in his return to Anaheim.

Guillen, traded to the Nationals’ franchise in November, drew an even louder chorus of boos when he slammed his helmet to the ground when left fielder Jeff DaVanon robbed him of a hit with a sliding catch in the sixth inning.

Guillen went 5-for-13 in the series against his former teammates, including a two-run homer during a four-run eighth inning that carried the Nationals to a 6-3 victory in the second game. He went 2-for-4 in the finale.

Afterward, he blasted Scioscia, saying: “I can never get over what happened last year. It’s something I’m never going to forget. Every time I play that team and Scioscia’s managing, it’s always going to be personal to me.”

Notes

Donnelly, who had a new glove, thinks other pitchers have being using pine tar. “It’s my belief that a lot of pitchers are going to go out there with newer gloves in the near future, starting today.” … Angels 1B Darin Erstad singled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games.

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