Interim manager Juan Samuel didn't excuse Julio Lugo's baserunning blunder in the eighth inning.
Lugo broke for third base with one out and Corey Patterson at the plate, tried to get back to second and was picked off by Nats catcher Wil Nieves. Patterson doubled and scored the go-ahead run on Miguel Tejada's single.
"That is not a smart play. That is just not a smart play," Samuel said. "Lugo knows it. He's trying to help the club win, but that is just not something we want to try in that situation."
Samuel praised Scott Moore for a hard slide into second base that broke up a double play in the fifth inning and allowed the tying run to score on Adam Kennedy's errant throw to first.
"I think that was a key play," Samuel said. "Not many people noticed that, but going hard at second base, giving us another chance, that's the kind of baseball we want to see. That's something we have to do to get us another at-bat. It was very nice to see Scotty do that."
The bullpen tossed 12 2/3 scoreless innings in this series.
"All those guys are doing the job," Samuel said. "They're making pitches. I know they've been working here a little bit, like we told Kranny that Simon pitched for us three straight days, but we're going to have an off day tomorrow."
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman also talked about the Orioles' bullpen.
"They really pitched good," he said. "Juan used them real well and matched them up good. They did a great job. It's a situation where we just didn't get them. Sometimes, you feel like you missed pitches to hit and didn't take advantage of them. But they made a lot of good pitches. They did a good job."