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Blanton no-nonsense in Nats debut

Veteran pitcher makes first appearance Friday, blanking Cardinals in 1 IP
Special to MLB.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Joe Blanton's debut with the Nationals on Friday was short and sweet, and that pleased manager Dusty Baker.

Blanton, a free agent whom the Nationals signed last week, made his first Grapefruit League appearance in the sixth inning of the Nationals' 7-1 loss to the Cardinals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Joe Blanton's debut with the Nationals on Friday was short and sweet, and that pleased manager Dusty Baker.

Blanton, a free agent whom the Nationals signed last week, made his first Grapefruit League appearance in the sixth inning of the Nationals' 7-1 loss to the Cardinals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

View Full Game Coverage

The 36-year-old veteran retired all three batters he faced -- on a popup, a strikeout and a groundout. He needed only eight pitches.

"Blanton was surprisingly sharp," Baker said. "[The Cardinals] had their way with us. But Joe was very good. He's going to be a great addition to this club."

The Nationals signed Blanton, a former starter, because they can use him in multiple roles to fortify their bullpen. Friday's brief but impressive stint could be a good sign.

Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com.

Washington Nationals, Joe Blanton