Rough third inning puts Nationals in 4-2 hole against Orioles

BALTIMORE - For the second straight game, the Nationals took an early lead on the Orioles, only to let Baltimore’s offense catch up. Today, though, the Nationals haven’t done as much to get ahead early, and John Lannan’s misadventures in the third inning helped the Orioles take a 4-2 lead.

Lannan walked Mark Reynolds to lead off the inning, then fell behind Nolan Reimold before he gave up a two-run homer. The Orioles’ final two runs could have been prevented - Laynce Nix bobbled the ball after Nick Markakis’ single, and Ian Desmond was slow with a relay throw home, allowing Adam Jones to score instead of throwing him out at the plate to end the inning - but Lannan needed to stop the damage there. He didn’t, giving up two more hits to Vladimir Guerrero and Matt Wieters.

In our discussion space, many of you continue to ask when Lannan is headed out of the rotation. He’s the second highest-paid pitcher in the rotation at $2.75 million this season, and he’s been mostly consistent for three years, so I don’t sense the same urgency from the Nationals that you might. He’s been a solid pitcher for the Nationals long enough that I don’t see him going anywhere.

He has struggled today, though, and the Nationals trail the Orioles 4-2.