Helpless against Hammel

The Nationals were able to get to Jason Hammel a bit on May 19, plating four runs off the Orioles' righty over 5 1/3 innings. Hammel still took the win that day, even though it was one of the few games this season when he wasn't really on his game.

Hammel was on his game tonight, that's for sure.

The Nats managed just one run and five hits against Hammel over eight innings tonight in a 2-1 loss to the Orioles. They struck out 10 times and forced Hammel to throw just 96 pitches over his eight innings.

Washington knotted the game up at 1-1 with a run in the fifth on Ian Desmond's aggressive baserunning and a throwing error by Mark Reynolds, but that was it. Hammel allowed very few hard-hit balls, and after the O's took the lead in the bottom of the fifth, the Nats couldn't manage much at all offensively.

Their best chance to tie the game came in the seventh when they put runners on first and second with one out. After Roger Bernadina struck out, Jesus Flores smoked a line drive to short, but J.J. Hardy elevated for it, making a tremendous play by snatching it out of the air.

Wasted in this loss was a very strong effort by Jordan Zimmermann, who went seven innings, allowing just two runs. He pitched through some rain and muggy conditions, but yet again, the Nats couldn't do enough offensively to get him a win.

Zimmermann is now 3-6 this season, despite having a 2.89 ERA.

The O's have now won three of the four games played between these two teams this season.

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