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Former Sand Gnat has Eventful First Start

John Lannan's first major league start ends early John Lannan's first major league start ends early
Nationals' Manager Manny Acta was tossed arguing Lannan's ejection Nationals' Manager Manny Acta was tossed arguing Lannan's ejection
Lannan's parents were on hand to watch wild debut Lannan's parents were on hand to watch wild debut

Former Savannah Sand Gnat John Lannan's first major league start didn't end with a win, but it was eventful.

Lannan pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up 4 earned runs.

He would have pitched longer, but Lannan was ejected after hitting the Phillies Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in consecutive at-bats.

Nats manager Manny Acta was also tossed by plate umpire Hunter Wendlestedt after Lannan's exit. It was Acta's first ejection.

"His explanation was that Howard hit a home run in his previous at-bat and then he got hit in his next at-bat," Acta said. "I was very surprised. I don't think the kid is going to come up here and start throwing at people."

Lannan allowed three runs and six hits in the first four innings. After getting the first out of the fifth, Lannan hit Utley and then hit Howard on the right shoulder.

"I was pretty shocked," Lannan said of the ejection. "Those were two fastballs that just got away from me. I've had to make adjustments at each of my stops. This was just a little weirder."

Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel didn't think the hit batters were intentional.

"I give the guy the benefit of the doubt, I do not think he was throwing at anyone," Manuel said.

Utley did suffer a broken hand when he got hit.

The Nationals came back to win the game 7-6.

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