WASHINGTON - The Orioles haven’t faced Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg before today. I’m sure they’ve heard lots about him, watched a few starts on television, studied the video tape. They just haven’t stood at the plate against him.
The Nationals probably didn’t know much about Xavier Avery before this weekend, but he’s left an impression.
Avery led off the top of the first inning with a single up the middle. He hustled to second base on J.J. Hardy’s long fly ball to center field. And he raced home on Nick Markakis’ single into right field.
Orioles 1, Nationals 0.
Avery has scored six runs in eight major league games. He’s batting .310.
Markakis was batting .320/.382/.700 with 11 RBIs in his last 12 games before today.
Down on the farm, Miguel Tejada popped up in his first at-bat with Triple-A Norfolk.
Steve Johnson went on the disabled list today with a strained groin muscle.
Single-A Delmarva’s Dylan Bundy has retired all nine Hagerstown batters he’s faced today, striking out three of them. That’s 39 strikeouts in 28 professional innings.
Update: The Orioles have worked Strasburg for 51 pitches in two innings, and they’ve taken a 3-0 lead.
Both runs in the second were unearned after Bryce Harper dropped a fly ball. One run scored on Robert Andino’s grounder, and another came home on Avery’s single.
Yes, Avery is 2-for-2. He also collected his first major league stolen base.
Chen struck out in his first at-bat.
Update II: Dylan Bundy tossed five scoreless innings today for Single-A Delmarva, allowing one hit, hitting a batter and striking out four.
Bundy has allowed two unearned runs and five hits in 30 professional innings, with two walks and 40 strikeouts.