The Orioles entered a three-game series in Washington in dire need of igniting their bats following a brutal four-game sweep at the hands of the Miami Marlins.
Facing the reigning World Series Champion Nationals, the Orioles bounced back in a big way. Baltimore dominated game one, came from behind to win game two and led game three before a rain delay suspended play.
With the conclusion of game three slated to be played next Friday, the Orioles currently sit at second place in the A.L. East with a 7-7 record.
Let’s take a look at how each game of the series went down:
Game 1: BAL 11 – WSH 0
The key to the series was to awaken the bats, which the Orioles certainly did in game one. Right from the start, the O’s took an early lead and never looked back.
José Iglesias opened the scoring with an RBI double that scored Anthony Santander in the first inning; Iglesias finished with an incredible 4-for-4 outing with three RBI and a run scored.
After struggling at the plate early in the season, Austin Hays performed much better, after being moved down in the batting order. Hays went 3-for-5 in game one with one RBI and a run scored.
Renato Núñez hit the only home run of the game in the sixth inning, as his three-run shot scored Iglesias and Santander. Hanser Alberto also kept up his hot start to the season by going 2-for-5 with one RBI and two runs.
After scoring only eight runs through four games against the Marlins, the Orioles put up 11 runs on their way to a shutout victory in game one.
Tommy Milone pitched a gem, going six shutout innings and allowing only three hits; the lefty struck out three batters and improved his record to 1-1 on the season.
Travis Lakins and David Hess pitched in relief and completed the shutout against the reigning World Series Champs.
Game 2: BAL 5 – WSH 3
After igniting the bats in game one, the O’s got off to a cold start in the second game of the series.
The Nats broke the scoreless tie in the second inning with a Juan Soto solo home run and a Kurt Suzuki sacrifice hit.
Washington led 2-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Eric Thames tallied an RBI double to increase the lead to 3-0.
The O’s struggled to get their offense going until the eighth inning, in which the longball saved the day for Baltimore.
Pat Valaika scored the Orioles’ first run of the game with a solo shot to left field that cut the Nationals’ lead to 3-1. In the following at-bat, Pedro Severino launched a solo home run of his own into the stratosphere in left field to put Baltimore back in the game at 3-2.
Austin Hays had a crucial at-bat in the top of the eighth, as he fought off 11 pitches off Nats closer, Daniel Hudson. This continued the inning and set up a three-run homerun by Anthony Santander to give the Orioles a 5-3 lead.
Shawn Armstrong received the win in relief, after Thomas Eshelman started the game and gave up two runs on four innings pitched.
Miguel Castro recorded his first save, as the O’s came from behind to win game two against the Nationals.
Game 3: BAL 5 – WSH 2; Top 6, 2 on & 1 out
The Orioles and Nationals started game three in a close pitchers duel between Stephen Strasburg and Asher Wojciechowski.
Wojciechowski came into the game on short rest, while Strasburg made his season debut after missing time due to a nerve injury in his hand.
Both teams went scoreless through the first four innings, as the two pitchers looked good early; Wojciechowski got out of a jam in the second and finished the game with no earned runs, three hits allowed and four strikeouts through 3.2 innings pitched.
In the fifth inning, the wheels came off for Strasburg, as the Orioles broke through the scoreless tie with a hitting spree.
Bryan Holaday took advantage of his appearance in the lineup with a bases loaded RBI single.
Alberto kept the momentum going with a two-RBI double that scored Valaika and Chance Sisco. With a 3-0 advantage, Santander singled to score Holaday and Alberto.
The O’s jumped out to a 5-0 lead, as Strasburg fell apart on the mound in his first return to action this season; the 2019 World Series MVP finished the game allowing five earned runs over 4.1 innings pitched.
The Nats added two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Starlin Castro homered to left field to cut the deficit to 5-2.
Later in the top of the sixth inning, the game was paused for a rain delay; however, the biggest issue for the Nationals was getting the tarp rolled out onto the diamond.
The game was suspended and pushed back until Friday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The O’s and Nats are set to square off in another three-game series later this week.
After a much-needed series victory, the O’s will head north to the City of Brotherly Love for a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Phillies are currently 4-6 and face the Atlanta Braves today, while the Orioles are off. Alex Cobb will likely be on the mound for the Orioles against Zack Wheeler in game one.
The Orioles also made a roster move today, as LHP Ty Blach has been released.
Stay tuned to the Baltimore Battery for lineups and coverage of the series!