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 WASHINGTON (AP) -Center fielder Lastings Milledge was dropped from the Washington Nationals' starting lineup Thursday night against his former team, the New York Mets, for arriving late to the ballpark.
Milledge appeared as a pinch hitter in Washington's 10-5 victory, walking in the sixth inning.
``He showed up late to work. I love Milledge, and he knows it. And out of all the rules I have, I have three rules that are unbreakable,'' Washington manager Manny Acta said. ``Go ask (general manager) Jim Bowden, (team president) Stan Kasten and (team owners) the Lerners what would they do to me if I showed up late to work.''
After the game, Milledge said he wasn't surprised by being benched. He wouldn't say what delayed him.
``That doesn't matter. I was late,'' he said. ``It was something I couldn't control. I take full responsibility.''
Milledge, once a highly touted prospect in the Mets' organization, went to Washington during the offseason in a trade that sent catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church to New York.
Milledge is hitting .271 this season.
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