Things didn't start out well for the Washington Nationals, after losing the Beltway series opener to the Baltimore Orioles yesterday. The Orioles jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Nationals responded by loading the bases in the bottom of the first inning, but Ivan Rodriguez flied out with two outs, ending the first inning with a 2-0 Oriole lead.
The Nats finally did respond in the third inning with a 2 run home run by Josh Willingham, his 7th of the season. But, again, the Nationals stunningly give up another inside the park home run, this time by Adam Jones. They gave up one last week tot he New York Mets. The insides the parker was another result of defense by Nyjer Morgan. If that wasn't bad enough, what took place after wards was even worse. The ball hit Morgan’s bounced out of the top of Morgan's glove, and Morgan went into a tirade, removing his glove and slamming it down, while the ball lay behind him. That spectacle gave the Orioles a 4-2 lead.
The 2 run Oriole lead did not even last an inning. Christian Guzman singled in a run in the bottom of the 4th to cut the Orioles lead to 4-3. It was the first of 3 hits for Guzman on the night, who is now hitting .343. Again, 2 innings later, the Orioles took another 3 run lead, on a Ty Wigginton home run to give the O's what they thought was a comfortable 6-3 lead.
Again, the Nationals responded in the bottom of the 6th inning, putting together a 4 run inning. Roger Bernadina knocked in the first one with his first triple of the year, cutting the O's lead to 6-4. Bernadina was 2-4 and is hitting a solid .277. The very next batter was Alberto Gonzales, who pinch hit and singled in Bernadina to cut the lead to just 1 at 6-5. dam Dunn provided the game winner, singling in two more run to give the Nationals the 7-6 lead. Ryan Zimmerman also finished with 32 hits, going 3-4 and raising his average to .318
Craig Stammen started for the Nats and 5.1 innings and got roughed up for 9 hits, 6 runs, 4 of which were earned. Tyler Walker, Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard, and Matt Capps pitched shut out ball the rest of the way. Walker earned the win and improved to 2-0. Capps went lights out again, pitching a scoreless 9th inning, striking out 2, and saving his major league leading 16th game. Capps remains perfect, 16 saves in 16 opportunities.