WASHINGTON - Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy hit solo home runs off Nationals rookie Nate Karns in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game 3-3, but Kevin Gausman served up two more homers and an RBI double in the bottom half that gave the hosts a 7-3 lead.
Steve Pearce pinch-hit for Gausman leading off the top of the fifth. In his second major league start, Gausman allowed seven runs and eight hits, with one walk and no strikeouts. He threw 67 pitches, 47 for strikes.
Davis is on another tear, and it’s quite a sight. He turned on a 95 mph fastball from Karns for his 17th home run and 47th RBI this season.
Davis has homered in four of his last seven games, six of 11 and eight of 18. He’s 14-for-24 in his last six games.
He’s also playing a nice first base these days. He’s made a couple of really good plays tonight.
Hardy homered on a 92 mph fastball, also making him 2-for-2 tonight. His average is up to .248.
Hardy has 10 home runs and 32 RBIs this season. He’s hit safely in 21 of his last 23 games, batting .322 in that span with seven homers and 17 RBIs.
The Orioles have hit 18 homers in their last eight games. They failed to go deep yesterday and have been held without a home run in consecutive games only once this season, on April 22-24 vs. the Blue Jays at Camden Yards.
The ball is flying out of here tonight.
Tyler Moore hit a two-run homer off Gausman in the fourth, and Roger Bernadina followed with his first homer of the season. Moore hit an 0-2 slider and Bernadina launched a 97 mph fastball on a 1-2 count.
Gausman had retired seven of eight since Adam LaRoche’s three-run shot in the first inning. He walked LaRoche leading off the fourth, and real trouble ensued.
It continued when Denard Span doubled with two outs after Kurt Suzuki’s single and Karns’ sacrifice bunt.
Gausman’s velocity was fine, but good hitters will pummel a poorly located fastball.
Gausman in two major league starts: nine innings, 15 hits, 11 runs, three walks, five strikeouts and four home runs.
Update: McFarland allowed one hit in two scoreless innings, and Troy Patton retired the side in order in the seventh.
Patton was making his first appearance in five days. In his last five outings, he had allowed seven runs and nine hits, with four walks, in 6 2/3 innings. He will come back out for the eighth.
Hardy is 3-for-3 and has raised his average to .251.
Nate McLouth stole another base tonight, making him 16-for-17 this season.
The Orioles continue to trail 7-3.
Update: The Nats scored twice off Patton in the eighth inning, including Adam LaRoche’s second home run of the night, and the Orioles lost 9-3.
Patton allowed four hits in the inning.
Left-handers were batting .303 against Patton before tonight. LaRoche homered and Bernadina had an RBI single in the eighth.