Nationals' skipper Matt Williams and the Orioles' Buck Showalter on Doug Fister

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals' right-hander Doug Fister worked with what he had last night in Oriole Park at Camden Yards and earned his eighth win of the year with seven innings of work in the Nats' 6-2 win over the Orioles.

Nationals' starter Doug Fister gave up seven hits and three earned runs all of which came on a three-run home run by Rockies' catcher Michael McKenry in his July 2nd start in Nationals Park.

The 30-year-old right-hander struggled on the mound in the nation's capital last Wednesday.

"Constant battle all night," he told reporters after the game, but he managed to limit the damage in what ended up a 4-3 win.

Last night in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, pitching on six day's rest, the righty once again labored, but was still able to beat Baltimore, holding the Orioles to seven hits, two walks and two earned runs in seven innings of work in the Nats' 6-2 win.

"It's a tough lineup. He had some pitches early that were really close. It's a question of adjusting certainly to the strike zone too." -Matt Williams on Doug Fister vs the Orioles

"Just continues to battle," Nationals' skipper Matt Williams said after Fister improved to (8-2) on the year with the win over the Orioles.

"Stretched him out a little bit tonight," Williams said. "I don't know, 111-112, something like that. Sent him back out there [for the seventh] with the notion that if he got in trouble we'd go get him, but he really pounded the zone the last inning especially. Pitched really well."

Fister threw 113 pitches total, 31 of them in a long first, but just 15 of them in his final inning of work, when he retired the Orioles in order to end his outing.

"It's a tough lineup," Williams said of the O's hitters. "He had some pitches early that were really close. It's a question of adjusting certainly to the strike zone too. But I thought he pitched really well."

The Nats' hitters provided all of the run-support Fister would need in the first two innings in OPACY, with Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche driving in runs on Bud Norris in the top of the first and Wilson Ramos homering in the second after the Orioles cut into the Nationals' lead with Chris Davis driving in a run with a two-out hit after Fister issued two walks in the bottom of the first inning.

It was the first time Fister issuing multiple free passes in an inning in 12 starts this season.

"Everybody has pitched really well. To throw labels on guys is probably not fair anyway, but every time they go out there we've got a chance." -Matt Williams on the Nationals' starters

The only other run Fister allowed last night came on a solo home run by Orioles' third baseman Manny Machado in the fourth.

After the outing against the O's, the first-year National was left with a 2.90 ERA, a 4.09 FIP, eight walks and 45 Ks in 77 ⅔ IP.

Williams was asked if the right-hander, acquired from the Detroit Tigers this winter, has established himself as the Nationals' ace or one of four aces on a Nats' staff which has the National League's lowest ERA as a group (3.07).

"Everybody has pitched really well," the first-year skipper said. "To throw labels on guys is probably not fair anyway, but every time they go out there we've got a chance, so that's all we ask."

Fister does have the team lead in wins now, a reporter noted, but Williams pointed out the obvious, that wins are not a good way to judge a pitcher's success on the mound.

"I think that if you look at it, certainly Stephen [Strasburg] has pitched well," he said.

"It's real simple, the ball is coming down at that angle and you're trying to swing on flat level." -Buck Showalter on facing Doug Fister

"[Jordan Zimmermann] has pitched well, Tanner [Roark] has pitched well. Gio [Gonzalez] has got 22 scoreless or whatever he's got. It's the way the game works out sometimes. We've seen that with [Zimmermann] especially, that sometimes the run support just isn't there and you don't get that win, per se, but they've all pitched really well."

Orioles' skipper Buck Showalter, in his post game interview on MASN, talked about the difficulty of facing the Nats' 6'8'' starter, who was (3-2) with a 5.30 ERA, six walks (1.51 BB/9) and 35 Ks (8.83 K/9) in six starts and 35 ⅔ IP against Baltimore before last night.

"Any time you have that height and you're able to create that plane and sink the ball," Showalter said, "it's real simple, the ball is coming down at that angle and you're trying to swing on flat level. That's why tall pitchers are in demand if they can command something and he just creates a tough angle. And [we] didn't get many balls in the air off him."

"I think Manny [Machado] hit a changeup," the veteran manager continued, "and hit some firm balls, but [they] were hard and at people. We didn't string much together. He just threw a cutter or slider, depending on what type of break he wanted on it and he worked both sides of it, some things he's been doing for a while. I really liked him when he was in Detroit, when [the Nationals] got him I was kind of glad to see him leave the league. But when he went to Washington I knew we would be seeing him again. Very athletic, in great shape, works fast, really creates a really good tempo and atmosphere for defense to be played behind him because of the tempo he sets."

Ian Desmond too talked about that tempo after Fister's start against the Rockies last week, praising the right-hander's pacing and what he's added to the rotation since he was acquired.

"That's what I think Mike [Rizzo] brought him here for, you know," Desmond said. "He wasn't sharp early, he identified it, made the adjustment and continued to hold it to that three runs. And gave us a chance to win the ballgame. Can't give him enough credit for how fast he works and pitching in the strike zone. That's something that our other starters are feeding off of."

The Nationals are now 9-3 on the year when Fister takes the mound and 30-24 overall since he made his 2014 debut on May 9th.

• We talked about Fister's outing, Anthony Rendon being awesome and more on the latest edition of Nats Nightly:

Current Baseball Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with District Sports Page Nats Nightly on BlogTalkRadio
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