Chris Tillman allowed three home runs in his first six starts, and six in his first eight outings.
Suddenly, he can’t keep the ball in the park.
Tillman has surrendered three more home runs tonight against the Nationals, including two by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.
Roger Bernadina led off the top of the fourth with a shot onto Eutaw Street, the 68th in Camden Yards history and the 40th by an opposing player. Bernadina is the second National to do it, joining Adam Dunn on June 28, 2009.
Zimmerman followed with a drive over the center field fence, producing his 11th career multi-homer game.
Orioles starters have allowed three homers in back-to-back games, including Kevin Gausman last night.
Tillman has given up seven home runs in his last three starts and 13 this season.
Bernadina struck out on a changeup in the first inning and crushed one in the fourth, the ball traveling an estimated 406 feet. Zimmerman has homered twice on 93 mph fastballs.
Chris Davis won’t let the Nationals have all the fun. He belted his 18th home run leading off the bottom of the fourth to reduce Washington’s lead to 3-2.
Davis has homered in five of his last eight games, seven of 12 and nine of 19. Is that good?
Davis has 16 hits in his last 28 at-bats. Is that good?
Down on the farm, Jake Arrieta made his first start since May 7 tonight at Triple-A Norfolk and allowed only one hit in five scoreless innings, with two walks and two strikeouts. He threw 80 pitches, 48 for strikes.
Update: Zimmerman hit his third home run of the night, this one on a 94 mph fastball with two outs in the fifth inning to give Washington a 6-2 lead.
Adam Dunn on July 7, 2010 and Alfonso Soriano on April 21, 2006 also had three-homer games for the Nats. Bet you thought it happened this week.
Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria was the last opponent to hit three homers against the Orioles, on Oct. 3, 2012.
Adam LaRoche singled and manager Buck Showalter came out of the dugout and signaled for Steve Johnson, ending Tillman’s night after 4 2/3 innings. This is the second-shortest start for Tillman in 2013. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings in his first start against the Twins on April.
Tillman’s line: 4 2/3 innings, eight hits, six runs, one walk, four strikeouts, four home runs. He threw 98 pitches, 62 for strikes.
The six runs off Tillman are a season high. The four homers allowed are a career high. Nine of the last 10 home runs off him were solo shots before Zimmerman delivered a two-run shot in the fifth.
The Nats already had scored once in the inning when Danny Espinosa reached on an infield hit with one out, took second on J.J. Hardy’s throwing error and raced home on Denard Span’s double.
Six of the last seven Orioles starters have failed to complete six innings.
Update II: Nick Markakis hit his sixth home run leading off the bottom of the sixth inning to reduce Washington’s lead to 6-3.
Six home runs have been hit tonight, five short of the Camden Yards record set in 1994.
Davis is 3-for-3 tonight to raise his average to .355 with 18 homers and 48 RBIs.
Update III: Now it’s really gotten interesting.
Steve Pearce followed Ryan Flaherty’s second hit of the ninth with a two-run shot, the ball barely clearing the fence in left-center field, to cut the Nats lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh.
That’s seven home runs tonight at Camden Yards.
Pearce walked past the lineup card posted outside the clubhouse earlier today and said, “I’m going to do some damage tonight.” I jokingly asked whether he meant during the game. Apparently, he did.
Tonight’s attendance: 39,129
Update IV: The Orioles have come all the way back to take a 9-6 lead on Manny Machado’s RBI double, Nick Markakis’ RBI single and Davis’ two-run homer.
What a crazy night.
Machado’s 24th double, tops in the majors, chased Zimmermann from the game. Markakis greeted Tyler Clippard with the tie-breaking single up the middle, and Davis belted his second homer of the night and his 19th of the season. He’s batting .359 with 50 RBIs.
Both teams have hit four home runs tonight.
Let’s not forget that Nate McLouth singled after Pearce’s home run and raced home on Machado’s double to left-center field, with third base coach Bobby Dickerson making the aggressive send.
Johnson has been key out of the bullpen, retiring seven in a row after walking the first batter he faced.
Update V: Tommy Hunter retired the side in order in the eighth, striking out two in his first appearance since barehanding Jose Bautista’s comebacker on Sunday, and Jim Johnson recorded his 16th save in a 9-6 victory over the Nats.
There may not be a more entertaining game this season.
Johnson retired Chad Tracy on a liner to Davis, struck out Kurt Suzuki looking for the second out and struck out Danny Espinosa to end the game.
Nate McLouth stole his 17th base in the eighth inning. He began the night tied with Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury for the American League lead.
Davis doesn’t have a statue in the picnic area, but he just carried out three of them on his back.