After allowing just three homers over eight starts and 46 1/3 innings this season at Double-A Bowie, right-hander Kevin Gausman gave up three tonight as the Nationals beat the Orioles 9-3 at Nats Park.
Gausman gave up a three-run homer to Adam LaRoche on a 2-0 fastball after allowing back-to-back singles with one out in the first inning.
The Orioles got solo homers from Chris Davis (his 17th) and J.J. Hardy (his 10th) to tie the game in the top of the fourth. Davis has hit four homers in his last seven games and eight in his last 18. Hardy has seven homers in his past 22 games.
But the tie didn’t last long.
LaRoche walked to lead off the bottom of the fourth and one out later, Tyler Moore hit an 0-2 pitch out to left for a 5-3 lead on what looked like a hanging slider. Roger Bernadina followed with a solo shot and Denard Span added an RBI double in the Nats’ four-run fourth, which produced a 7-3 lead.
LaRoche added a solo homer off Troy Patton in the eighth for a two-homer, four-RBI night.
Gausman was pinch-hit for in the fifth and went four innings, allowing eight hits and seven runs.
He is now 0-2 with an ERA of 11.00. In nine innings, he has given up 15 hits, 11 runs (all earned) and four homers in his first two big league starts.
Nats starter Nate Karns - making his big league debut - went 4 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and three runs, throwing 85 pitches.
But four relievers followed him and blanked the O’s over the last 4 2/3 innings. They controlled the bats of an Orioles team that had scored five runs or more in its last 10 road games to set a team record. The Orioles were averaging 5.6 runs per game with a .313 batting average over their last 16 games. Hardy went 3-for-4 for his first three-hit game of the season.
The Orioles had won six of the last eight in this series until the loss. They fall to 17-12 on the road and 28-24 on the season while the Nats are now 27-25.
As the home-and-home series shifts to Baltimore Wednesday night, Jordan Zimmermann (8-2, 1.71 ERA) pitches for the Nationals against Chris Tillman (4-2, 3.68 ERA) for the Orioles.