Showalter on O's RISP stats, plus a game update

Manager Buck Showalter spent some of his pregame press conference this morning talking about his team's stats when hitting with runners in scoring position. The 2018 Orioles are lagging behind the 2017 Orioles.

After going 4-for-17 with RISP over the weekend at Tropicana Field, the Orioles are batting .241 with RISP to rank 11th in the American League. Last year, the Orioles were second batting .287, trailing only Houston at .294.

Showalter-Black-Jacket-Sidebar.jpg"It kind of reflects bad on all us," Showalter said. "It is not on an individual. We all wear it when we don't succeed. I think our selectivity (has been an issue). There are so many walks waiting to happen in today's game. Let's face it, it is driven by a lot of walks, strikeouts and home runs.

"When a guy knows what you are trying to do, you also know what he is trying to do. Man on second, nobody out, a left-hander is not going to get a fastball in. You can take away that pitch. The only time you will get something soft is late in the count or if they are trying to strike you out. Because soft is the pull side. A right-handed hitter will get something soft to roll over or something hard in.

"It is just (about) boxing out (eliminating) certain pitches. When you go a couple of innings and the guy is having a lot of trouble to everybody commanding the ball on the inner half, you should be able to box that out. That is why Dylan (Bundy) was so good (in Chicago) - they couldn't box out any pitch. Big league hitters find out what you are not able to do and they react accordingly. The good ones do."

Nats grab early lead: Anthony Rendon hit a three-run homer into the left field corner to give the Nationals a 3-0 lead in the top of the third. With two outs and none on versus right-hander Alex Cobb, Trea Turner singled and Bryce Harper walked. Then Rendon hit No. 6 on a 1-1 fastball to break the 0-0 tie. Cobb needed 42 pitches to eventually get through that inning and hold the deficit to 3-0.

Earlier, it went much better, as Cobb needed just 12 pitches in a 1-2-3 first that included his strikeout of Harper. He gave up a two-out single to 19-year-old Juan Soto in a scoreless second.

The Orioles left two on versus lefty Gio Gonzalez in the home second. Danny Valencia led off with a single to center, but was erased on Trey Mancini's 6-4-3 double play. After Gonzalez issued walks to Mark Trumbo and Craig Gentry, he got No. 9 hitter Andrew Susac looking at a third strike.

Cobb went seven: Cobb went a season-high seven innings, allowing five hits and three runs on 101 pitches. Richard Bleier replaced him to start the eighth with the Nationals still leading 3-0.

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