Democrats have dominated the past six years of the annual congressional baseball game, a charity event that allows Washington lawmakers to share a little camaraderie - even as they take sides on the field.
The two parties met Thursday night at Washington Nationals Park in front of a frenzied crowd of several thousand fans, who sat neatly divided into Republican and Democrat camps, in red and blue, respectively.
This being Washington, no fans were allowed to sit in the middle.
''It's very competitive, but it's a bipartisan event in the end - we raise money for boys and girls clubs and orphan kids," said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, starting center fielder for the Republicans. "It's just one of the best institutions in Congress, really it is."
The event raises raised more than $300,000 for the Washington Literacy Center, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, organizers said.