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02/26/08 8:43 PM ET

Notes: Hill dominates in batting practice

Righty throws well, but experiences right forearm soreness

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Shawn Hill threw his second batting practice on Tuesday, and he was dominating despite experiencing right forearm soreness, the same injury that bothered him last spring. Hill had a blazing fastball and broke several bats during the session. Outfielder Alex Escobar was the only hitter who was able to manage a base hit.

As usual, Hill was hard on himself after throwing batting practice. He told pitching coach Randy St. Claire that he had a tough time throwing his breaking balls for strikes.

"It's February, so I'm not overly concerned about it. The [breaking balls] are not sharp yet," Hill said. "When I was getting loose early on, I was struggling a little bit, but once I got going, all of a sudden it's coming out well. I have to get a feel for everything, and we have four to five weeks to get it done."

Hill will take two days off and then have a bullpen session. He will then have another day off before having a bullpen session and starting against the Cardinals on March 5. The Nationals have said in the past that they are going to take it slow with Hill, who had left shoulder and right elbow surgery this past offseason.

Injury report: Paul Lo Duca's left knee continues to get better, and he hopes to start taking batting practice by Thursday or Friday and having bullpen sessions by Monday.

On Tuesday, he was able to walk through the stadium without any problems.

"I don't foresee it not happening. So far, no setbacks," Lo Duca said about batting practice and the bullpen sessions.

Coming up: The Nationals play their first exhibition game of the season against the Marlins on Wednesday night at Roger Dean Stadium. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Left-hander Matt Chico will get the start for Washington, while pitchers Garrett Mock, Rob Bell, Joel Hanrahan, Brian Sanches and Chris Schroder will pitch in relief.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.