It wasn’t the first time. Or the second. But the third time the Orioles faced three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, they finally got to him. They sure did.
His former catcher, Pedro Severino, unloaded a three-run homer to left that pulled the Orioles from 5-1 behind to within 5-4. On an afternoon that had the look for a while of a not today day, the Orioles’ relentless offense kept plugging away. An inning later, Anthony Santander’s second homer of the afternoon tied the game at 5-5 off the right-hander.
This time it didn’t lead to a win. A Rio Ruiz throwing error allowed the go-ahead run to score in the eighth as the Orioles lost 6-5 to the Nationals. They lost on an unearned run.
The Orioles fall to 12-9 for the year, 4-2 versus the Nationals and 4-3 in series play.
Severino hammered a 2-0 fastball to deep left to score Ruiz and Chance Sisco. He produced an exit velocity of 109 mph and drove the ball 410 feet to get the O’s back in it. It was No. 5 for Severino. Severino went 3-for-4 today against his former club. Over his past eight games, he is batting .448 (13-for-29) with two doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs.
Earlier, Santander hit a first-inning homer off Scherzer to bring Baltimore within 3-1 after the Nats knocked Baltimore lefty John Means out in the top of the first. Santander extended his hitting streak to 11 games, one shy of his career best from late last season. That was homer No. 6 and came on a 1-0 fastball that was in and off the plate. But Santander still turned on it.
Santander got another one in the seventh to tie it up. He hit a 2-0 changeup out down the right-field line to produce his second career multi-homer game. With the two home runs today, Santander is now 4-for-7 in his career against Scherzer with two homers and three RBIs. He becomes one of 11 players to produce a multi-homer game against Scherzer, a list that also includes former Oriole Adam Jones.
The relentless Birds offense had tied it up at 5-5 and produced five runs or more for the 15th time in 21 games.
The Nats sent out Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Scherzer this weekend in Baltimore. They had this combined pitching line: 12 2/3 innings, 17 hits, 11 runs (all earned) and five homers allowed. That works to an ERA of 7.82.
The rally from 5-1 down though fell short, as the Orioles fell to 3-4 in one-run games. Hard-throwing right-hander Tanner Rainey, who had allowed just one hit in 26 at-bats this year as he took the mound, fanned the side in the Baltimore eighth, stranding a runner. Daniel Hudson closed it out in the ninth.
The homestand continues Monday night when the Orioles host Toronto for three games. Boston will be in for four beginning on Thursday.