Washington starter shuts down Cards with 3 scoreless innings

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By The Associated Press

VIERA, Fla. – Tim Redding doesn’t feel old at all.

“I turned 30 three weeks ago – maybe 30 is the new 20,” Redding said Monday after pitching three scoreless innings in the Washington Nationals’ 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. “I feel really good. My arm feels good; there are no aches, no pains.”

The six-year major league veteran allowed three singles, striking out one and walking none.

“I think this year could be a special year not just for me, but for this whole team,” he said.

Redding pulled a muscle in his neck last week and was scratched from a start against the Marlins in Jupiter.

He felt no restrictions Monday and was able to throw all of his pitches without discomfort.

“He kept the ball down at the knees and was able to throw his breaking ball over the plate, too,” Washington manager Manny Acta said. “And I liked the velocity – he had some giddyup.”

After struggling in Nationals camp last spring, Redding started the 2007 season at Triple-A Columbus.

In July, he was called up to Washington, where he finished 3-6 with a 3.64 ERA in 15 starts.

Acta has said a starting job is Redding’s to lose this spring.

St. Louis starter Braden Looper allowed one run and three hits in three innings, with one strikeout and no walks.

“His first time out there, I thought he threw the ball well,” Tony La Russa said.

“He got three solid innings in – a good day of work.”

Washington’s Elijah Dukes hit a solo home run off Mitchell Boggs in the fifth.

Nationals notes

Left-hander Odalis Perez was to pitch in an accelerated game Tuesday at the team’s training complex.

Perez is unable to compete in exhibition games until he obtains a work visa.