KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The long-awaited Spring Training debut of Astros prospect Troy Patton finally arrived on Wednesday, 11 days after he sprained his ankle tripping on a sprinkler during morning workouts.

Patton entered in the seventh inning of the Astros' 5-2 win over the Nationals on Wdnesday and gave up a hit, but he settled in, striking out a batter and finishing the inning without allowing a run.

Patton equated the base hit to "the first time you get hit in the mouth in a football game." Apparently, it helped calm the nerves of the 21-year-old left-hander, who is attending his first Major League Spring Training camp.

"Once I gave up the base hit, it helped me relax," Patton said. "It sounds weird, but once I gave up the hit, it woke me up a little bit. I gave up the base hit -- it was just a single, so it's not too detrimental. It helped me throw strikes."

Patton knew ahead of time that he would pitch in this game.

"They told me, so I could get my mind right," he said. "I had been a little nervous about it. I'm very relieved to get in there now and just be a regular pitcher."

Astros manager Phil Garner was impressed with the brief outing by the highly regarded prospect.

"He threw a first pitch for a strike," Garner said. "It's good to get the first one out of the way. You just keep getting better and better after that."

Ryan Express: Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan arrived to Kissimmee earlier this week, looking fit and healthy less than six weeks after going through a somewhat severe health scare.

In late Januray, Ryan was treated for an aortic spasm, a condition that began after he had double-bypass surgery in April 2000.

"Everything's going good," Ryan said. "Everything's rocking along."

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Oswalt works: Opening Day starter Roy Oswalt hasn't had to worry about making the team for quite some time, so Spring Training affords him the luxury of slowly building up, with an eye on the regular season .

Oswalt allowed two runs, one of which was earned, on four hits over three innings in his start against the Nationals on Wednesday.

"Overall, I felt good," Oswalt said. "I need to get a little better velocity on my fastball. I haven't quite gotten there yet. The last inning, I tried to throw a little harder than the first two."

Lineup change: Adam Everett was originally listed on Garner's lineup card early Wednesday morning, but Mark Loretta started the game at shortstop, while Everett had the day off.

Garner had forgotten that he had promised Everett he would give him one of the upcoming games off, and he also promised the shortstop wouldn't have to take the two-hour trip to Dunedin on Friday. Instead, Everett will take the trip to Viera Thursday, in between two days of rest.

Community events: Astros players and coaches hosted the veterans from Makinson-Carson American Legion Post 10 and the Osceola County Veterans Council on Tuesday. Several players and coaches greeted and signed autographs for the veterans, including Brad Ausmus, Jeff Bagwell, Garner, Brad Lidge, Dan Wheeler and Lance Berkman.