Well, this time the Nats took this series, but the Orioles were able to get one win out of the 3 game set luckily. Still, this series proved that the O’s still have a lot to work on when free agency starts and in the off-season. The Orioles currently sit at 32-37, 10 games back from the division-leading Red Sox, and of course in last place.
Friday’s game was a disaster. It ended in an 8-4 loss but the Orioles out-hit the Nats 18-10, including Nick Markakis and Adam Jones going 4 for 5. However, they just couldn’t get those guys home enough to beat the Nats. It started off well. In the 4th, Derrek Lee (who went 5 for 5) doubled and Andino hit an RBI single to go up 1-0. Following that, Zach Britton hit an RBI double during his second at-bat in his career to give himself another run to work with on the mound. Britton was cruising too but a Mark Reynolds error caused 3 unearned runs to come in the bottom of the 5th. An earned run also came putting the Nats up 4-2. In the 6th, the O’s tied it up and we all got hopeful and Britton had a chance to get the win. That is until Jeremy Accardo came in the game. He gave up 3 runs and ruined the Orioles chances of winning the game. Bernadina homered off Mike Gonzalez in the 8th to give the Nats their 8th run. Following the game, Accardo was sent for assignment showing him and all O’s fans how Buck Showalter felt about his latest outing. He had pitched well for a while but recently has been batted around by anyone he faced.
Saturday’s game wasn’t as much as an offensive blowout. This time, it was the O’s offense, not the pitching, that could not get it done. This one was tight until the 6th. In the first inning, Adam Jones hit a solo homer to start things off but in the bottom of the inning, Brian Matusz gave up one to Ryan Zimmerman to allow the Nats to tie it right back up. Things stayed tied at 1 until the bottom of the 6th when Michael Morse hit a 2-run homer followed by Rodriguez hitting an RBI double to make it 4-1. In the next inning, the O’s did score a run with an RBI single by J.J. Hardy, but that’s as close as they would come. Matusz came out of the game in the 6th with a cramp in his left hamstring. However, he said he probably won’t miss his next start and that it’s just a cramp and nothing serious. With that, he got his 2nd loss of the season. A positive we can take out of this game is that Brad Bergesen, who was recalled to replace Jeremy Accardo in the bullpen, pitched 2 innings and gave up only 1 hit. He definitely performs much better in relief than as a starter.
Although these two games were depressing, the O’s pulled through and avoided a sweep on Sunday. Chris Jakubauskas got the start and the win after pitching 5 innings giving up 6 hits, 3 runs, and a career-high 6 strikeouts. Along with that, he also got his first career hits going 2 for 3 on the day. Hardy and Derrek Lee both went 2 for 4 while Mark Reynolds went 3 for 4. As how the O’s scored 7 runs: Craig Tatum grounded into an RBI double play in the 2nd; J.J. Hardy hit his 8th home run of the season in the 3rd; in the 4th, Craig Tatum hit an RBI single to score Reynolds; in the 5th, Adam Jones hit an RBI single followed by Derrek Lee hitting an RBI double to make it 5-2; in the 6th, Mark Reynolds homered, his 13th on the season; and Craig Tatum hit a sac fly in the 8th to score Nolan Reimold.
Coming up next is a 3-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates who are 35-36 on the season. Hopefully the O’s can WIN a series. In order, we have Arrieta, Guthrie, and Britton on the mound so that definitely is the best chance for the O’s to win/sweep a series. However, Pittsburgh is a much better team this season than expected so they’ll be a tough team to play. It should be a good series. Go O’s!