BALTIMORE - Through the first five innings tonight, the Nationals crushed four homers and put up six runs.
Then the Orioles’ bats woke up and the Nats’ shut down.
The Nats’ 6-2 lead, procured on the back of Ryan Zimmerman, disappeared in a hurry tonight. Despite having Jordan Zimmermann on the mound to start the game, the Nats allowed seven unanswered Orioles runs, six of which came in the seventh inning, and dropped the first game of this two-game set in Baltimore 9-6.
After giving up a home run and three runs in the seventh, Zimmermann was replaced by Tyler Clippard, who allowed an inherited runner to score before serving up a two-run home run to Chris Davis.
Zimmermann has been far and away the Nats’ best and most consistent starter this season, a guy that had gone at least seven innings and allowed no more than two runs in each of his last six starts.
Tonight, he got rocked for seven runs on 10 hits, three of which were home runs, and falls to 8-3 on the season.
Zimmerman had three home runs in his first three at-bats, but after his final homer, the Nats went 1-for-14 to close out the game.
Their last 12 hitters were retired in order, and it’ll be a quiet bus ride back to D.C. tonight.