Pitching Struggles Continue as O's fall 17-5

With the ball carrying, the offenses were on but Baltiomore pitching was not.

In their first interleague game of the season, Baltimore had another rough outing, losing 17-5 to the Nationals. Henry Rodriguez got his first win of the season and Jake Arrieta was handed his second loss.

The Nationals took advantage of the ump's strike zone by starting off the second inning with two walks, drawn with the help of close calls. Danny Espinosa went deep to right field to give Washington the early lead.

The Orioles tied it up in the third inning. With two out, Nick Markakis got an infield single and Valdimir Guerrero continued his multi-hit game streak, getting it to six with a single to right field. Matt Wieters, being amazing with runners in scoring position, plated both with a double to center field and he came around to score on a single to the outfield.

The game wasn't tied up for long, however. In the top of the fourth, Arrieta hit Wilson Ramos with a pitch. He scored from first base on a triple by Espinosa, who hit very well of the Oriole starter on the night. Jerry Hariston singled to add another run to the lead. With the bases loaded, Jayson Werth was hit by a pitch to get the RBI. Washington batted around in the inning, but stranded the bases loaded.

The slugfest continued in the bottom of the inning as Reynolds led it off with a walk. Ryan Adams got his first major league hit of his career with a bloop to left field that died fast to give him a single. Felix Pie doubled to center field to give Baltimore their fourth run. However, with poor base running, Pie got caught in a rundown, not recognizing Adams had stopped at third base. Tagging up on a fly out by Adam Jones, Adams scored to bring the O's within one.

Leading off the fifth with a leadoff walk, Adam LaRoche came into score on a triple by Ramos. Espinosa plated him with a single to right field for his third RBI of the game. Ian Desmond, with the help of a bounce off the glove of Jones, homered. Werth took advantage of the ball carrying as he went deep as well, putting the Nationals up by seven. For the second inning in a row, The Nationals batted around.

Once again, National hitters came through for their team in the sixth with more insurance runs. Ramos singled and Espinosa got the free pass. Hariston got the RBI with a single to left field. With his second homer on the night, Werth added another run to the lead in the seventh. The fifth homer of the night came off the bat of Ramos as a solo shot in the eighth inning. Another dinger—a two-run shot by Laynce Nix—got the Nationals their sixteenth and seventeenth runs on the night in the ninth inning. They scored in every inning but the first and the third.

Keeping with the troubles the starters having been having of late, Jake Arrieta pitched only 3.2 innings on 91 pitches. He missed the strike zone slightly and was driven deep into many counts as the Nationals fought off anything close. Arrieta gave up five runs on six hits. He has given up a home run in each of his last five starts. In eight of his nine starts coming into tonight, Arrieta had allowed three or fewer runs.

Coming out of the bullpen, Jason Berken worked 1.0 inning in relief, giving up six runs on five hits—including two home runs. Clay Rapada took the mound with two outs in the fifth to try to finish off the inning. He did his job, striking out the only batter he needed to face in the inning on three pitches. Rapada stayed on to go 1.1 innings, giving up a run on two hits. Mike Gonzalez worked out of the struggling pen for 2.0 innings as he surrendered two runs on two solo shots as they only hits against him. Keving Gregg got work in the ninth and gave up two runs and four hits—three singles and a homer.

Jason Marquis worked 4.0 innings after he gave up five runs and eight hits. Henry Rodriguez took over in the fifth and went 3.0 scoreless innings as he surrender only two hits. Todd Coffey came on in the eighth to retire the side in order. Doug Slaten took the ninth inning, giving up two singles before ending the game with a ground out double play.

The offense came in full force tonight after being dead in the Yankee series. They combined for 12 hits. Two Orioles had multi-hit games—Markakis and Guerrero. Oriole offense was sat down in order only twice on the night. They struck out five times and drew three walks. Eight runners were left on base and hitters were 3-for—9 in opportunities with runners in scoring position. Every Oriole pitcher in the game allowed at least one run.

Tomorrow's middle game will have Jeremy Guthrie (1-6) facing John Lannan (2-4) with the Orioles hoping to end their current losing streak.

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