The Orioles missed Nationals ace and perennial Cy Young Award candidate Max Scherzer, who’s on the injured list. They missed Stephen Strasburg, who’s pushed back to Thursday and keeps alive his streak of never pitching in Baltimore.
Tonight’s matchup between right-handers Asher Wojciechowski and Austin Voth didn’t necessarily send shivers up and down the spine, but the Orioles are trying to plug holes in their rotation and the Nats are doing some temporary tinkering.
Wojciechowski gave the Orioles some length, working into the sixth inning after a 26-pitch first. He gave them strikeouts, racking up seven with his fastball, slider and changeup. He gave them a lesson on control by not walking a batter.
The Orioles never gave him a lead and the bullpen couldn’t keep the game close.
Matt Adams and Juan Soto homered off Wojciechowski, Voth came up from Triple-A and allowed only one run in six innings and the Nationals defeated the Orioles 8-1 before an announced crowd of 23,362 at Camden Yards.
The Orioles are 28-66 overall and 12-35 at home. The Nats are 50-43 overall and 24-23 on the road.
Adams homered onto Eutaw Street in the second inning, the 102nd at Camden Yards and 57nd by an opponent. Doubles by Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon in the third gave the Nats a 2-1 lead and Soto did horrible, horrible things to a 91 mph fastball leading off the sixth.
Soto crumbled to the dirt after fouling a ball off his right leg, then drove a four seamer 443 feet to right-center field with an exit velocity of 111.3 mph per Statcast. Ryan Zimmerman flied out and Shawn Armstrong replaced Wojciechowski, who’s going to start again over the weekend when the Red Sox come to town.
Brian Dozier reached with two outs on an infield hit, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk for a 4-1 lead.
Miguel Castro walked Adam Eaton with two outs in the seventh and was burned by Rendon’s second RBI double of the night. Jimmy Yacabonis walked Dozier with two outs in the eighth, committed a throwing error on an attempted pickoff and allowed Victor Robles’ RBI single for a 6-1 lead.
Eaton reached on an infield hit with one out in the ninth after Tayler Scott entered the game, Rendon was hit by a pitch and Soto delivered an RBI single. Rendon raced home on Adam’s single for an 8-1 lead - the fifth run allowed by Orioles relievers.
The Orioles have scored two runs in the last two games. They kept the Nats moving around the bases tonight.
Hanser Alberto broke up a perfect game Sunday with a leadoff single in the ninth inning and he broke up a no-hitter tonight ... with a home run in the second.
Sometimes the drama feels a little forced.
Alberto lined a changeup into the left field seats to tie the game 1-1 and singled in the fourth. He began the night with a .235 average against right-handers, compared to .397 versus lefties.
Could explain why he was lowered to eighth in the order.
Trey Mancini was grazed on the jersey by a pitch in the first inning and snapped his career-worst 0-for-24 streak by poking a ball over first base for a leadoff double in the third. He never made it to third base, let alone home plate.
Mancini struck out in the seventh against Tanner Rainey to strand two runners in scoring position. He thought the previous pitch was ball four.
Smith went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 30 at-bats.
Núñez led off the sixth with a single, hesitated after rounding first base and was thrown out going to second.
Notes: Erick Fedde is starting Wednesday night for the Nationals. The spot had been TBD.
Double-A Bowie right-hander Michael Baumann threw a no-hitter tonight against Harrisburg. He walked two and struck out 10, including Michael A. Taylor to end the game.
Baumann, a third-round pick in 2017 out of Jacksonville University, was making his third start and fifth appearance with the Baysox after going 1-4 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 11 starts with Single-A Frederick over 54 innings.
Baumann, 23, has surrendered only one run and struck out 32 batters in 27 innings with Bowie. He’s the 24th ranked prospect in the system by MLB Pipeline.
The Orioles granted infielder Jace Peterson his release from Triple-A Norfolk. Peterson, named the International League Batter of the Week on Monday, had an opt-out clause in his contract and now becomes a free agent.
Andrew Cashner made his Red Sox debut tonight against the Blue Jays and allowed five earned runs (six total) and eight hits in five innings. He surrendered two home runs.
Hyde on Wojciechowski: “I thought Wojo threw the ball really well. He kept us in the game. A 2-1 game going into the sixth. Like a lot of games this year it seems to get away from us, but I thought he threw ball really well. Made the mistake to Adams for the homer, but I love the way he battles. He competes. I thought his slider got better as the game went on and he’s got some life to his fastball, so he did a nice job.”
Hyde on guys throwing strikes but offense failing: “You punch out seven into the sixth inning. We had some chances to score early for him and just couldn’t push them across. We had the bases loaded, we had a runner at second base and nobody out. We had so many opportunities to score runs and just not getting the ball put in play when we needed it. It puts pressure on your pitching staff to put up zeroes every time out. You give up three runs to this club into the sixth inning, you’ve done a nice job. So happy with his performance.”
Hyde on whether competitive at-bats: “I thought we didn’t swing the bat real well. I thought we competed. I thought Voth threw a nice game. We had some opportunities off him. I don’t know if we’re trying too hard. Obviously we have a few guys who are kind of in a funk right now and are pressing a little bit. Not one of our better nights offensively.”
Hyde on Alberto: “He’s ready to hit. The time he gets in the box he’s ready to hit. He might chase a little bit and he might be over-aggressive and he’s not going to walk much, but he’s on time with the fastball and he’s ready to hit. He gives himself a chance because he’s on time and he’s ready. That’s what I see is a guy who just really competes in the box, at the plate and gives himself a chance and is swinging the bat great.”
Mancini on ending streak: “It felt pretty good. I definitely didn’t feel like myself still up there tonight, but found a hole there on a nice little dribbler. Yeah, it’s definitely a weight off the shoulders, so hopefully I’ll start getting back to where I was a couple weeks ago.”
Mancini on scorchers caught and a dribbler going for a double: “When that happens you wouldn’t want it any other way other than have kind of a cheap hit there. I asked for the ball, too. I have it in my locker. So definitely going to keep that. I honestly don’t even know where my first hit is from 2016, but I’m going to make sure I keep track of this one.”
Mancini on what inspired him to ask for ball: “I just got the hit. I cued it and so I thought the ball might have been damaged, too, so I kind of signaled to Voth to throw the ball in there and he did. So yeah, I’ve got it here.”
Mancini on Alberto having to go back and touch first base on home run: “That was pretty funny. But he plays with so much energy and heart, so he gets really excited, as he should. He’s a fantastic player and he has a great time out there, so sometimes you miss the bag. At least he went back and touched it and didn’t keep running.”
Mancini on so many guys in slumps: “It’s tough. Especially tough that a lot of us are kind of going through it at the same time because obviously the offense won’t have the input that we want. A lot of times when it’s one or two guys maybe struggling the rest of the guys pick them up, but there’s quite a few of us who are going through little funks right now and that’s unfortunately what happens in baseball and hopefully we can all break out of it pretty soon here.”
Wojciechowski on start: “I thought I competed pretty well. I would have liked to have gotten three pitches back. Other than that I thought I executed pretty well. But yeah, just to (have the) 1-0 changeup to Adams, the 0-2 fastball to Rendon and then the 2-1 fastball to Soto. Just kind of three mistakes I made there and they all cost runs.”
Wojciechowski on attacking hitters: “That’s my mindset. I’m going to go out there and I’m going to attack hitters. I’m going to compete. I’m going to give it my all every single pitch. That’s what I just try to do every time single time I toe the rubber and see what happens.”
Alberto on whether he missed first base: “I really didn’t miss because I felt that I touched it, but I just wanted to be sure. I didn’t want to lose the home run because of that replay. I wanted to be 100 percent sure that I touched it and kept running. It was good, tie the game early in the game.”
Alberto on power: “I’m putting in good swings, a good approach, hitting and swinging at the right pitch. That’s been the keys for the home runs.”
Alberto on whether his family is still here: “Yes they’re here. We’re going to have the baby tomorrow. They’ll all come to the hospital tomorrow early. They’re happy.”
Alberto on whether he’ll play Wednesday: “Got to talk to the skipper now to see what’s going on. I’ll probably take the day.”