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Belliard, Milledge Injured During Game

By Bill Ladson / MLB.com

VIERA, Fla. — Nationals second baseman Ronnie Belliard left Wednesday’s game against the Marlins in the top of the fourth inning because of a left ankle sprain. Belliard is expected to miss two to three days of action.

With Josh Willingham on first base, Belliard hit a ground ball to Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez, who threw to shortstop Robert Andino for the forceout. Belliard was safe at first, but a few steps after toughing first, Belliard turned his ankle and fell to the ground. Belliard had to be helped off the field.

Jose Castillo pinch-ran for Belliard in the same inning.

Belliard, Milledge Injured During Game….

Nationals Sign Free-Agent Reliever Joe Beimel

By Bill Ladson

VIERA, Fla. — Manager Manny Acta finally has the eighth-inning reliever he was looking for, as the Nationals signed left-hander to a one-year, $2 million contract on Wednesday afternoon.

Beimel is expected to report to camp Thursday and wear uniform No. 97.

Before the announcement, Acta said right-hander Jesus Colome had the lead to being the primary setup man, but the organization clearly was not comfortable with him pitching in close games.

Beimel, 31, will pitch between closer Joel Hanrahan and right-hander Saul Rivera, who returned from the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday. Rivera will be used most often in the sixth and seventh innings.

“Joe is effective against left-handers and right-handers. He can pitch late in the game. He has been in the playoffs and all that stuff,” Acta said. “We are thrilled to have him, especially in our division. The opposing clubs have good left-handed hitters and this guy is going to help us out.”

 

Nationals Sign Free-Agent Reliever Joe Beimel….

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