Does Martinez view these two games as an audition for the Nats’ fifth starter role going forward? Not quite.
“Today I’m just worried about Austin Voth going out there and competing and keeping us in the ballgame,” Martinez said. “We will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Both of those guys are part of our future right now. We hope that they both pitch well.”
The Orioles are obviously struggling at 28-65. But the Nationals will not take them lightly and understand that Baltimore’s young players have nothing to lose. The Nats went 10-2 against subpar .500 clubs before the break.
“We can’t let the guard down,” Martinez said. “They are a major league team. They got very good young players that are trying to make names for themselves. After watching some of their video and stuff they can hit. They’ll swing the bat. We got to come out and play baseball like we’ve been playing and take care of ourselves.”
Martinez loved seeing his old buddy Brandon Hyde when the Nats arrived here Sunday night from Philadelphia. The Orioles new skipper was the first base coach with the Chicago Cubs when Martinez was the bench coach since 2015.
“He’s awesome. I know him and his family really well,” Martinez said. “They’re kind of almost like family as well (to me). It was good to see him. I spent a couple nights with him when we got into town, had dinner together. It was fun.”
Martinez said they won’t ease up on Hyde because they are close friends because he knows he will compete just as hard to try and beat the Nationals.
“Honestly we are both great competitors,” Martinez said. “He know’s that we want to win and he wants to win. Put everything aside and we got to compete.”
Martinez put Matt Adams at first base tonight and Ryan Zimmerman in the designated hitter role, something he did in Detroit a few weeks back as well. Zimmerman might play first base Wednesday. But with Atlanta coming up, the skipper may choose to DH Zimmerman both nights with the Orioles going with two right-handers.
“We got an opportunity to take two days and keep him off his feet a little bit and just get his at-bats,” Martinez said. “Today I chose to DH him. Who knows, tomorrow if he feels good we’ll put him at first base. I just want to keep him healthy.”
Update: Matt Adams got the offense going with a solo homer off of Orioles starter Asher Wojciechowski in the second inning. His 14th homer of the season landed on Eutaw Street over the right field wall, becoming the 102nd homer to ever do so and 57th by an Orioles opponent. He is the third Nationals player to do so, joining Adam Dunn (2009) and Roger Bernadina (2013).
The Orioles got a solo homer from Hanser Alberto off Voth with one out in the second. It was Alberto’s fifth of the season.
Voth dodged a bullet in the first after loading the bases with two hit by pitches and a walk. He managed to wiggle out of the jam recording two outs in a row.
After three innings at Camden Yards, the Nats lead the Orioles 2-1.
Update II: In the top of the sixth, Juan Soto hit a solo shot over the center field wall for his 17th homer of the season. After one out, Wojciechowski was replaced by Shawn Armstrong. Brian Dozier singled and stole second base. He went to third in a wild pitch and scored on a balk by Armstrong.
Mid-sixth, the Nationals lead the Orioles 4-1.
Update III: Rendon hit another RBI double to score Adam Eaton in the top of the seventh.
Voth finished six innings, allowing one run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts. He hit two batters. Voth threw 84 pitches, 57 for strikes.
Mid-seventh, the Nationals lead the Orioles 5-1.
Update IV: Victor Robles had an RBI single in the eighth. Soto and Adams added run-scoring singles in the ninth.
Update V: Javy Guerra pitched two scoreless innings to wrap up the Nats’ 50th win of the season.
Final score: Nats 8, Orioles 1.