Bullpen can't back up solid Williams start in loss to Guardians (updated)


Carl Edwards Jr. has been one of the strongest relievers the Nationals have had over the past year. After signing a minor league deal and making the major league roster last May, the right-hander gave up three runs in his Nats debut and vowed he would be better.

He would go on to pitch to a 2.76 ERA over 57 games in 2022 and return this year as one of the back-end bullpen arms. He began the night allowing only one run in six innings.

But Edwards had one of those rough outings, leading to a 4-3 loss at the hands of the Guardians in front of an announced crowd of 21,367 at Nationals Park.

Edwards entered a 3-2 game with two outs in the seventh and the bases loaded. It only took Edwards five pitches to walk in the tying run. He then got a popup to finally end the frame.

Back out for the eighth, he looked all out of sorts. He couldn’t handle an easy comebacker and thus allowed the leadoff runner to reach first before former teammate Josh Bell hit a double to the same spot he had homered to the inning prior. Edwards then surrendered the go-ahead RBI via a groundout, and although the run was unearned, it was made possible by his own fielding error.

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Game 14 lineups: Nats vs. Guardians

Joey Meneses fives white

The Nationals are back home after a seven-game road trip out west and their first off-day since the day after Opening Day. In fact, starting yesterday, they will have three days off over the next week, with two scheduled surrounding the upcoming two-game Battle of the Beltways against the Orioles.

But first they have three games against the Guardians, who make their first trip to Nats Park with their new name and the franchise’s first trip back since the last series of the 2019 regular season. You know, the one that ended an 8-0 homestand and catapulted the Nats into the postseason en route to a World Series title?

(Speaking of name changes, how about the latest news concerning a big change with the local football team, huh?)

These off-days may allow manager Davey Martinez to tinker with his starting rotation in the near future, giving some of his younger arms extra rest. But for tonight’s opener, he’s sticking with where they left off, which means Trevor Williams will make his third start with his new team.

Williams earned his first win on Saturday in Colorado by pitching 5 ½ innings of two-run ball with four strikeouts against the Rockies. Having spent his entire career thus far in the National League, he only has two career starts against Cleveland. But he has a 0.90 ERA over 10 innings against them, aided mostly by a complete-game shutout in a rain-shortened six-inning game at Progressive Field back in 2018.

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Orioles jump Bieber early and get seven scoreless innings from Bradish to win series (updated)

Mullins Santander celebrate gray

CLEVELAND – The question made manager Brandon Hyde pause for a few seconds this afternoon, only to smile and load up the obvious response.

How big of a challenge does Shane Bieber present to the Orioles?

“It’s a challenge,” he said. “For me, he’s one of the best pitchers in the American League, if not baseball, the last handful of years. We have not swung the bat well against him since I’ve been here.”

The past wasn’t given any respect tonight. A team with a short memory is in the wild card race for the long haul.

Cedric Mullins homered on the first pitch of the game and Anthony Santander homered on the first pitch thrown to him. Two runs on the board in the first inning. Ryan Mountcastle hit his 19th homer in the fourth, the chain in the dugout placed around another neck.

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Henderson homers and singles in debut and Orioles post 12th shutout (updated)

Gunnar Henderson swing helmet falls gray

CLEVELAND – The Hall of Fame pitcher leaned over the dugout railing this afternoon to shake hands with the 21-year-old infielder preparing to make his major league debut.

A link to the Orioles’ glorious past meeting baseball’s No. 1 prospect and a huge cog in the rebuild that is designed to move them back into contention.

Jim Palmer headed up to the MASN broadcast booth. Gunnar Henderson took batting practice, started at third base and dived into the next phase of his professional life.

Of course, he landed on his feet, and used them to circle the bases on his first major league hit.

Henderson launched a 429-foot home run to right-center field off Tristen McKenzie leading off the top of the fourth inning, deepening a lead that evolved into a 4-0 victory over the Guardians at Progressive Field.

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O's game blog: Gunnar Henderson makes his MLB debut


It is hard to win when you score just one run and the Orioles have not won the last two games, falling Sunday at Houston 3-1 and by a 5-1 score last night to start a three-game series at Cleveland. Tonight they face the Guardians in the second game of this series.

The Orioles (67-61) begin the night tied with the Twins, three games back of the Blue Jays for the third American League wild card spot. They are 3 1/2 games back of Seattle for the second spot and four behind Tampa Bay for the first one.

So some ground to make up in Game 5 of a road trip where they are 2-2 thanks to the great pitching they got in Houston.

The O’s have scored just seven runs in four games of this trip, batting .172 (21-for-122) and they are 3-for-24 with runners in scoring position. In the last nine games, the team has scored 27 runs with a team batting line of .194/.272/.306 with a .579 OPS in that span.

But even with the recent slumping, the Orioles still rank fourth in the AL in team OPS for August at .718 and they are seventh in the AL in runs this month. Since the All-Star Game, the Orioles' OPS of .704 ranks sixth in the AL and they are sixth in runs scored at 4.25 per game.

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