WASHINGTON - The Orioles loaded the bases tonight against Nationals rookie Jefry Rodriguez with no outs in the top of the fifth inning and settled for one run. The hosts loaded the bases against rookie David Hess with no outs in the bottom half and scored four runs to tie the game.
A new inning and new pitcher allowed the Orioles to load the bases with one out in the sixth against reliever Justin Miller. Again, they scored only one run, though it enabled them to reclaim the lead.
Failure to bust open the game left the Orioles in pieces.
Tanner Scott couldn’t hold a one-run lead in the seventh, with the Nationals going ahead after three batters, and the Orioles lost 9-7 before an announced crowd of 33,391.
The Orioles were trying to win back-to-back games for the first time since sweeping the Mets on June 5-6 at Citi Field, but they lost for the 17th time in 20 games and are 20-51 overall and 9-28 on the road.
The Nationals are 4-0 against the Orioles and are assured of winning their first season series since 2007.
Joey Rickard hit a solo homer off Sean Doolittle in the ninth inning to account for the final margin.
Adam Eaton’s bunt single and Juan Soto’s liner into center field put Scott on the ropes and Anthony Rendon brought them home with a shot into the left-center field gap to give Washington a 7-6 lead. Scott was charged with a third run on Michael A. Taylor’s RBI single off Mike Wright Jr. on a ball that eluded Manny Machado.
Jace Peterson and Trey Mancini hit two-run homers off Rodriguez, who was removed for a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning. Peterson belted his second two-run homer in two games to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead in the third inning. He’s driven in six runs in two games.
Caleb Joseph doubled in his first plate appearance since returning to the Orioles, extending his hitting streak to five games. Hess bunted back to the mound, creating a force at third base, but Peterson jumped on a first-pitch fastball from Rodriguez and carried it an estimated 415 feet.
Mancini hit his second home run since May 24 and it came with two outs in the fourth after Mark Trumbo’s leadoff single and two strikeouts. The ball traveled an estimated 404 feet and gave the Orioles a 4-1 lead.
Joseph also walked and he threw out Trea Turner attempting to steal after a leadoff single in the sixth. Joseph was 4-for-19 before being sent down and 6-for-13 with Triple-A Norfolk.
The sixth inning included a 1-2-5-1-6 putout with Jonathan Schoop tagged in a rundown after collecting his second career triple and first since May 12, 2016, and a botched double steal that resulted in 2-6-2 caught stealing with Mancini out at home.
The fifth inning could have been a monster for the Orioles after Hess and Peterson walked and Adam Jones was hit by a pitch. Machado grounded into a double play, Trumbo struck out and only one run came out of it.
Making his first major league start and second appearance after a promotion from Double-A Harrisburg, Rodriguez allowed five runs and four hits with three walks and six strikeouts over five innings.
Hess was charged with five runs and five hits with three walks in 4 2/3 innings. He’s allowed 10 runs and walked seven batters in his last two starts to raise his ERA to 4.82. In a strange twist, he scored his first two major league runs, but it didn’t salvage his night.
The Nats took a 1-0 lead against Hess in the second inning on Turner’s home run, which came on a 90 mph fastball driven to left field. Hess has surrendered nine homers in his seven major league starts.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth and Eaton grounded a two-run single under Machado’s glove with one out. The ball didn’t bend a blade of grass, but it got through the infield. Soto walked, Rendon lifted a sacrifice fly to reduce the lead to 5-4 and slumping Bryce Harper blooped a game-tying RBI double down the left field line to end Hess’ night at 80 pitches.
Tonight marked the eighth time that the Orioles and Nats started rookies in the same game, according to STATS. The previous seven:
Adam Loewen and Mike O’Connor on June 24, 2006
Garrett Olson and John Lannan on June 28, 2008
Koji Uehara and Ross Detwiler on May 23, 2009
Brad Bergesen and Shairon Martis on May 24, 2009
Bergesen and Detwiler on June 26, 2009
Kevin Gausman and Nate Karns on May 28, 2013
Dylan Bundy and A.J. Cole on Aug. 22, 2016
Update: Manager Buck Showalter said O’Day wasn’t available again tonight due to tightness in his hamstring. O’Day threw in the bullpen after the game as the Orioles try to determine whether he can stay on the active roster.
“He’s got a nagging hamstring, he’s had since the last time he’s pitched,” Showalter said. “This is the fourth day that he hasn’t been available. He’s real close and I’m hoping we get good news from his throwing down there when Roger (McDowell) comes in.”
Showalter on the fifth inning: “I’m not taking credit (away), but I think there was eight hits that weren’t hit hard at all that kind of trickled through. It’s just one of those things where everything that if they did get hits, they seemed to have found holes. They hit some balls hard, too. I thought he (Hess) was the victim of a lot of that, too. The game’s not always fair.
“You are looking for reasons why, we always do. He was on the bases twice on a sticky night. Stuff-wise, he’s one of our best-conditioned guys. I don’t think that was it. It just got away from him. Some of the good pitches he made ended up going for base hits. Some things are just not fair sometimes.”
Showalter on not cashing in big with bases loaded: “They did a lot better job cashing in their bases-loaded, nobody-out situation than we did. What did we have, seven runs on seven hits? There were a lot of good at-bats and walks and we didn’t get too overanxious against their first pitcher, but we just weren’t able to stem the tide.
“David was on the bases a couple times tonight. I don’t know if that anything to do with it. His pitch count was down. He was very economical. He was pitching well and then he got away from there in a hurry.”
Showalter on Scott: “Tanner just got some balls up. I don’t care how hard you’re throwing up here, it’s about angle and deception. Soto’s had a good career against left-handed pitching anyway, but he should do a better job than that. Darren wasn’t available tonight, so we were kind of forced to force-feed some guys.”
Showalter on whether that was Richard Bleier’s spot if healthy: “I look at it as a Darren spot. But also that’s something Tanner is going to be able to do. He’s got a chance to be a good pitcher. Every club, you have injuries and things that happen. It creates another opportunity for somebody. That’s just the way the world works. You can’t make everybody stay healthy. It’s an excuse that we really refuse to use.”
Scott on why he struggled: “I was just leaving them more middle instead of putting them where I wanted on the corner and just leaving them in the middle, and big league hitters can hit middle.”
Scott on whether he feels he needs to replace Bleier: “I mean, my job is just to get lefties out and whoever’s in the box. And today I was missing more middle and ended up giving up a couple of runs and putting us in the losing column, which wasn’t ideal. But you live and you learn.”
Hess on whether running bases took something out of him: “It’s definitely a little different than what you’re used to in the American League, but I think it’s something, the first time you kind of get acclimated a little bit, so going forward, I don’t think it will be any issue whatsoever.”
Hess on fifth inning: “I think walks were the killer in that inning. You look at the hits I gave up, they weren’t hard-hit balls. They just kind of placed them perfect. But those were set up by the walks and I think I’ve got to make better pitches in those situations and we’re not even in those positions to begin with.”
Peterson on whether disappointing to score seven and lose: “I mean, I don’t know if I’m really disappointed, but we’ve got to go out there and fight every game. Pitchers have been doing a heck of a job keeping guys down and we haven’t been scoring runs, so we scored some runs tonight and they just happened to score more than that. We get to come back tomorrow and they’re a good ballclub and so are we, so we’re looking forward to coming back tomorrow and try to score more runs than they do.”
Peterson on wasted opportunities: “Yeah, but a good thing we were able to get those runs. I mean, yeah, we’d like to get more in those situations, but it’s a tough game and just being able to scratch one sometimes is a positive. We weren’t able to get more than that, but we’ll take it.”
Peterson on swinging better lately: “Like I said the other day, I went back to doing some cage work that really I started feeling my swing again, and the last few days, I’ve been feeling good. So for me, it’s a matter of continuing to stay on it and put good at-bats together.”