Pitching on an extra day's rest after his five-game suspension, Jason Marquis has had one of his rougher starts this season. He's only given up two runs, but the Orioles had five hits in the first three innings. And in the fourth, Marquis' dance with trouble finally got him burned.
He allowed a one-out double to Derrek Lee, and when Wilson Ramos couldn't pick a throw home from Jerry Hairston Jr. on Robert Andino's single, the Orioles got their first run. Then, Marquis gave up pitcher Zach Britton's first career base hit, a double to left that put Baltimore up 2-0. But the Nationals rallied for a pair of runs on Britton in the fifth, getting a break after Marquis bunted to third with Wilson Ramos on the base and having nowhere to go. Mark Reynolds had to hurry a throw toward first, and Ramos wound up scoring on his throwing error. Marquis got to second, and eventually scored on a Roger Bernadina groundout.
And the error let the inning continue; Jayson Werth's strikeout was only the second out of the inning, and after Ian Desmond singled off Britton, he scored with two fantastic pieces of baserunning, stealing second after getting a great jump on the pitcher and beating a throw from Matt Wieters, who's been tough to run on all year. Then, he scored from second on Ryan Zimmerman's RBI single up the middle, sliding around a Wieters tag.
The Nationals could have been out of the fourth inning, though, on Hairston's throw, but Ramos, who's had trouble picking one-hop throws home all season, couldn't handle this one. Still, Marquis was bound to give up runs sometime, with as many pitches as he's been leaving in the strike zone.
Ryan Zimmerman's new throwing motion was also on display in the third inning, on J.J. Hardy's grounder to third. It's clear he still needs plenty of work. It looks like he's almost shot-putting the ball toward first base, and he doesn't have much power on his throws at the moment. The Nationals want to alter his mechanics to take some stress off his arm and prevent further injury to his core, but changing things in the middle of the season is always going to be a dicey proposition.
Still, the Nationals' four-run fifth gave them a 4-2 lead, and even with all of Marquis' struggles tonight, he's in line for a win at the moment.