The Washington Nationals wore the home whites for Memorial Day in the nation's capital, but donned digital camo caps and had the numbers and Curly-W on the front of their jerseys and the letters and numbers on their backs camo'd out instead of the traditional red. Baltimore, of course, did the same with their away grays, which had a noticeable absence of orange outside of the "slightly modernized cartoon bird" logo on the front of their hats. Nats' lefty Gio Gonzalez, also known as "The Best-Dressed Pitcher in Town," looked sharp in white and authentic military digital camouflage as he retired the first two batters he faced this afternoon via groundout, but he issued a two-out, four-pitch walk to Orioles' shortstop J.J. Hardy in the top of the first inning before popping Adam Jones up to end a 15-pitch opening frame.
30-year-old O's right-hander Jason Hammel needed just eleven pitches to put the Nationals down in order in the bottom of the first this afternoon in the nation's capital.
Matt Wieters took a one-out walk in the Orioles' second, when Gio Gonzalez missed with four pitches after starting 0-2 against the O's catcher. Gonzalez popped Yamaico Navarro up to end the second, however, and the 14 pitches he threw had him up to 29 total after two. Adam LaRoche lined the first pitch of the bottom of the second to right for the first hit of the game by either team. Ian Desmond took a 95 mph fastball from Jason Hammel for a called strike three in the next AB, but LaRoche stole second standing up -- looked like Tyler Moore missed the swing sign -- and then scored when Moore ripped a ground ball over the outside edge of the third base bag and just fair for an RBI double and a 1-0 Nats' lead after two.
Gio Gonzalez threw an 0-2 fastball by the opposing pitcher for out no.1 in the third. Gonzalez gave a nod and a point of thanks to Ryan Zimmerman after the Nats' third baseman fielded a weak grounder toward third on his backhand and made an improbable sidearm throw to first to get Nick Markakis for out no.2. 20-year-old O's third baseman Manny Machado singled over short for the first hit for the visiting team, and a play after Zimmerman did the impossible he committed an error on what should have been an easy play, throwing high to second trying for the force on a J.J. Hardy grounder to third. Adam Jones stepped in with two on. Kurt Suzuki blocked an 0-1 curve in the dirt, but the 2-2 bender Gonzalez spiked got away from the Nationals' catcher. Both runners advanced into scoring position on the pitch, but Ryan Zimmerman did the old charge and throw from his hip on a grounder from Jones that ended the inning and stranded both runners. The 18-pitch frame had the Nats' starter at 47 after three.
Gio Gonzalez pitched around the Zimmerman E in the top of the inning, then doubled to left-center on a first pitch fastball to start the Nationals' half of the third. Denard Span flew to out to center on the second pitch of the inning from Jason Hammel and Gio Gonzalez made an ill-advised decision to run on a grounder to short by Steve Lombardozzi for the second out of what ended up being an 11-pitch frame when Ryan Zimmerman popped up to foul territory off third to end the bottom of the third inning.
Chris Davis took the third walk of the game from Gio Gonzalez in the first at bat of the fourth. Matt Wieters took a 2-2 curve the other way to right for a single to put two on with no one out. Davis tagged and took third on a Steve Pearce fly to left, sliding in just ahead of a strong throw in by Tyler Moore and then scored when Yamaico Navarro battled the Nats' starter for seven pitches before lining to left for a one-out, RBI single. 1-1 game. Jason Hammel bunted both runners into scoring position/gave up out no.2, and Nick Markakis lined the first pitch he got (which was Gonzalez's 23rd of the 4th) to center to drive them both in and make it a 3-1 Orioles' lead. Manny Machado lined his 23rd double of 2013 to right for a two-out, two-base hit on a 2-0 pitch from Gonzalez, but with runners on second and third, J.J. Hardy grounded out to first to end the O's fourth. The 32-pitch inning had Gonzalez at 79 overall after four.
Jason Hammel set the Nationals down in order in a quick, 11-pitch, 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth.
Adam Jones doubled to center on Gio Gonzalez's 80th of the game for a leadoff hit in the Orioles' fifth and Chris Davis powered a broken-bat bloop single over short and into the left field grass to put runners on first and third with no one out. A Matt Wieters' sac fly to right scored Jones from third, but Kurt Suzuki cut the throw off himself and threw to second for the first out when Davis tried to advance on Roger Bernadina's throw home. Steve Pearce singled with two down, but Gio Gonzalez struck Yamaico Navarro out with his 14th pitch of the fifth and his 93rd overall pitch of the game. Jason Hammel was at 53 pitches overall when he retired the Nats in order in a 10-pitch fifth.
Gio Gonzalez came back out for the sixth and retired the first two batters he faced, but a two-out walk to Manny Machado ended his day after 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 Ks, 109P, 67S, 9/3 GO/FO... Craig Stammen came on in relief and got a grounder to short from J.J. Hardy that got under Ian Desmond's glove. Machado took third on what was ruled a hit instead of an E6, and Adam Jones popped to short center to end the O's sixth. Still 4-1 Orioles. Denard Span tripled to right to start the Nats' half of the inning on an 0-1 change from Jason Hammel. Steve Lombardozzi K'd on an 0-2 fastball outside with Span standing at third, but Ryan Zimmerman went with a 1-2 slider and singled to right in the at bat that followed to drive Span in from third and make it a 4-2 O's lead. Ian Desmond singled with two down after battling back from an 0-2 count, but Tyler Moore K'd swinging to end the sixth.
Chris Davis and Matt Wieters singled to start the Orioles' seventh and one out later, Yamaico Navarro hit a high 2-2 slider to left to bring Davis home and make it 5-2 O's. Jason Hammel struck out trying to bunt and with left-hander Nick Markakis due up, the Nationals turned to left-handed reliever Fernando Abad with two on and two out and he popped the Orioles' outfielder up to end the top of the seventh. Roger Bernadina doubled off the out-of-town scoreboard in right to start the bottom of the inning. A Kurt Suzuki groundout failed to advance the runner. Chad Tracy got a pinch hit opportunity and popped out to Manny Machado in foul territory off third for out no.2 and Denard Span flew to center to end the seventh. Still 5-2 O's.
Henry Rodriguez took over on the mound in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to left by Manny Machado. The Orioles' third baseman stole second on a slider in the dirt Kurt Suzuki managed to catch but held on to. After a walk to J.J. Hardy, Machado scored from second on an Adam Jones' RBI single to left that made it 6-2 Orioles after the top of the eighth. Jason Hammel struck Steve Lombardozzi out to start the bottom of the eighth. Ryan Zimmerman was 2 for 4 today after he singled to center with one down in front of Adam LaRoche. The Nats' first baseman popped up to second on a full count pitch for out no.2 and Ian Desmond lined to short to end the eighth.
Drew Storen gave up a two-out Nick Markakis single but nothing else in a 12-pitch top of the ninth. Darren O'Day came out for the bottom of the inning. Tyler Moore K'd swinging for out no.1. Roger Bernadina grounded out to second for out no.2. Kurt Suzuki flew to Chris Dickerson in left to end it. 6-2 Orioles. 15 hits for the O's. Enjoy your Memorial Day.
24-19 Orioles over the Nationals since 2005.
Nationals now 26-25