WASHINGTON - The Orioles avoided the sweep with today’s 7-4 victory over the sloppy Nationals, who committed three errors and bobbled a few other balls.
“I’ve said many times, usually you look at that error column and you’re winning that, you’re in the ballgame. And taking advantage of those was big,” said manager Buck Showalter.
Chris Jakubauskas picked up his second win after allowing three runs and striking out six in five innings. The only walk was intentional. And he contributed two hits to an offense that will take contributions from anyone.
“We talked early on and Jak’s had some background doing it and we could tell a little bit that he felt comfortable up there,” Showalter said. “Took a little toll on him, too. We were lucky to get through five with him. I think he was gassed and running on fumes. But funny things happen when you can command a fastball, and that’s what Jak can do. He spun his breaking ball for strikes and tempo was good. In fact, when he got in a little trouble, his tempo slowed up a little bit. But he presents a command guy. That’s why we were intrigued by him. When you can locate a fastball, you’ve got a chance up here.”
Showalter let Jakubauskas bat with two outs in the sixth before bringing in Jim Johnson from the bullpen. Jakubauskas responded with his second hit.
“He was done there, but I wasn’t going to burn a pinch-hitter with two outs and nobody on, and he messed that up,” Showalter said. “If he got to second base, we were going to let Luke (Scott) run for him. We were proud of him. You can tell he’s athletic.”
Derrek Lee had two more hits today, giving him nine in the series and raising his average to .245.
“I thought he was getting going before he left on the bereavement,” Showalter said. “He came back and it took him a couple days to get going again. I hope he’s kind of picked up where he left off. He’s been locked in for a couple days.
I asked him if he’s ever had seven hits before and he said he had eight one time in a row. It might have been nine. I don’t know what that feels like. It was kind of like an ‘I’ve done this before’ kind of thing.
“I went by him the other day at first base and said, ‘Are you all right?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, nothing that a couple knocks won’t get.’ And after he got the five, I said, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow at first base and we’re going to follow that same protocol and I’ll be back there.’ I’m definitely not taking any credit for it.”
Showalter also provided an update on Jeremy Guthrie’s bullpen session.
“It went well today,” Showalter said. “He told me it looks like 90 percent and we’ll make the final call tomorrow and see how he feels from the throwing he did today.”
A few more notes: Felix Pie stole his second base this season. And Koji Uehara gave up his sixth home run after allowing five last season.