Wire Taps: Orioles take Battle of the Beltways opener in Nationals Park

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles started a four-game two-city series in Nationals Park last night. It went to extras, where the O's pleased the many Orioles fans in attendance in the nation's capital with an 8-2 win.

There were 35,126 in attendance at Nationals Park last night for the first game of the four-game, two-city interleague series which has been labeled the Battle of the Beltways.

The Baltimore Orioles improved to 27-20 overall against the Washington Nationals since 2005 with the 8-2 win in D.C., scoring six runs in the eleventh inning to break up a 2-2 tie.

QOTD: "Matt doesn’t play for you. You feel like, ‘Golly, I got a chance to manage Matt,’" Showalter said." -Orioles' skipper Buck Showalters on Matt Williams to Baltimore Sun writer Alejandro Zuniga

Nats' skipper Matt Williams was asked after the loss what he thought of his first experience of the regional rivalry between the Nationals and Orioles.

"I think it's great," Willliams told reporters. "We talked about it a little on the bench. If it was a weekend series it would probably be even bigger so that's, of course, people have to work, but it's great. I think it's a nice rivalry. Different leagues of course, but everybody from the same area, two local teams, it's a good atmosphere."

Nationals' starter Stephen Strasburg talked about all the orange and black in the stands in the series opener.


"Maybe some day it will be different," the 25-year-old right-hander said, "but obviously that franchise has been around a lot longer than we have, and can't really worry about it too much so hopefully our fans travel well after tomorrow."

Will the Orioles fans show up again tonight? Can the Nationals fan drown out the obnoxious "O" in the "Star-Spangled Banner"...

The Nats and O's play one more tonight with Doug Fister on the mound against Orioles' Bud Norris. Game Time: 7:05 pm EDT. Until then, links and lots of them... starting... with a link that will probably anger a few people... I mean, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "In the meantime, the Nats are not going to sit still. They're looking for a young shortstop. They cannot count on keeping Desmond." - "If Desmond won't stay for $90 million, Nats need to start shopping" - Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports on MSN

• NATS BEAT:

• "His fastball command was good and his change-up was filthy. His lone mistake was serving up a two-run shot to baseball’s home run leader." - "Stephen Strasburg delivers strong outing with improved tempo" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "They’re now 2-8 in extra innings this year, an inexplicable stat that nobody appears to be able to decipher." - "Nationals’ extra-inning woes continue in frustrating loss to Orioles" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Chris Davis' two-run homer started a six-run rally in the 11th, with Craig Stammen allowing five of the six runs, as the O's took the first game of the Battle of the Beltways 8-2." - "Nationals Pastime: Williams on Stammen's rough 11th and Strasburg's strong outing in 8-2 loss" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Even before the all-star rosters were announced on Sunday, Soriano said he was looking forward to spending the all-star break in his native Dominican Republic relaxing with his family..." - "Rafael Soriano says he won’t go to the All-Star Game even as a replacement" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Before the Nationals' contest against the Rockies last Tuesday, Werth adjusted his batting stance after spending hours watching film with hitting coach Rick Schu." - "Nationals' Jayson Werth named NL Player of the Week" - Daniel Popper and Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "If the opener of this 4-game Battle of the Beltways is a sign of things to come, get ready for an entertaining, tense week of baseball..." - "Orioles homer three times in 11th to send Nationals to tough loss" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Stammen said it is a lonely feeling when you don't have all your pitches working at a critical juncture." - "Strasburg, Rendon and Stammen on 8-2 loss to Orioles" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Once the mutual admiration blather is over, though, these relationships sometimes rekindle the telling of stories that seem unique to baseball." - "Matt Williams, Buck Showalter reminisce about their shared past" - Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post

• "The one thing that sticks out for Rendon's teammate, Adam LaRoche, is his demeanor on and off the field. No can tell if he went 4-for-4 or 0-for-4 with three strikeouts." - "NL Final Vote candidate Anthony Rendon is calm, humble" - Anthony Rendon, nationals.com: News

• "Do you know that feeling when you lose something important — your wallet, your keys — and then you find it? Werth waited an entire month for that feeling." - "Jayson Werth ditches slump, wins National League player of the week award" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Nine pitches and two home runs later an exciting, entertaining game was out of reach." - "Reliable Craig Stammen finally falters in Nats' loss to Baltimore" - Brian McNally, Washington Times

• "Werth was named NL Player of the Week on Monday, a fitting honor for the Nationals right fielder, who went on a sudden tear after a lengthy slump." - "Jayson Werth named NL Player of the Week" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "There have been discussions recently about the Nationals and Houston Astros working together on a shared spring training site." - "Report: Astros and Nationals shared spring training site could be ready in 2017" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Right-hander Craig Stammen is one of the Nationals' most reliable relievers. But he had his worst outing of the season..." - "Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals - July 7, 2014" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "Mention the team’s health, and Washington Nationals Manager Matt Williams knocks on wood." - "A Nationals roster at full strength means fewer at-bats for veteran bench players" - Isabelle Khurshudyan, The Washington Post

• "Baltimore was forced to sit Steve Pearce, who is batting .326 with 10 home runs this season, to keep both Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis in the lineup." - "If LaRoche sits in Baltimore, Zim to play first" - Daniel Popper, nationals.com: News

• "Some fans trudged to the Metro and some floated toward their cars for a joyride up I-95." - "Nationals allow six runs in 11th inning to drop series opener against Orioles" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "A day after they had to deal with Stephen Strasburg, things won't get any easier for the Orioles on Tuesday in the Battle of the Beltways." - "Baltimore Orioles at Washington Nationals - July 8, 2014" - David Wilson, MLB.com Preview

• "Though Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is perceived to be struggling this season, he's still hitting the ball as hard as he did in 2013." - "Manny happy returns: Machado gets results" - Mark Simon, Stats & Info Blog - ESPN

• "The struggling slugger who had just two singles in his previous 38 at-bats, hit a full-count fastball from reliever Craig Stammen over the right-center wall to jumpstart a six-run 11th inning." - "Orioles hit three homers in top of the 11th to beat the Nationals, 8-2" - Dan Connolly, baltimoresun.com

• "In the nine-year history of the Beltway series–played between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles–the Nationals have only one once." - "Despite Strong Starts, 2014 Orioles-Nationals Beltway Series Selling At A Discount" - Jesse Lawrence, Forbes.com

• "Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams has seen Buck Showalter make bold late-game decisions before." - "Nationals manager Matt Williams is used to daring moves by Buck Showalter" - Alejandro Zuniga, baltimoresun.com

• "Davis found himself at the plate with Nelson Cruz on first and no outs in the 11th with the game tied at two. Davis was 0-for-4 for the game and had just two hits over his previous 38 at-bats." - "Davis, Hardy and Machado homer in the 11th as O's beat Nats 8-2" - Steve Melewski, MASNSports.com

• "O’Day threw 34 pitches (22 strikes) through two innings in the Orioles’ 8-2, extra-inning win over the Washington Nationals, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out three." - "Darren O'Day gives Orioles strong performance late against Washington" - Alejandro Zuniga, baltimoresun.com

• "Earlier this season, the New York Times released a study that shows exactly where fan allegiances lie based on geographic location." - "Border War: Study shows geographic divide of Nats-O's fans" - WUSA9

• "The Astros have been trying for more than a year to get a new complex built that it would share with another club, and the team has partnered with the Washington Nationals." - "Crane: Astros closing in on new Spring Training facility" - Brian McTaggart, astros.com: News

• "There are not many 11 inning games with that kind of margin of victory." - "Orioles explode in 11th inning, storm to 8-2 win over Nationals" - Mark Brown, Camden Chat

• "For the second year in a row, Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will be part of the All-Star festivities. Unlike last year, he expects to play in the game." - "Former Express pitcher Jordan Zimmermann named to NL All-star team for second straight year" - Bob Gallaher, WEAU

• NATS MINORS:

• "Nick Thompson hit a three-run homer against Doubledays starter Matt DeRosier (0-2) in the top of the third, and State College topped Auburn 3-2 under the lights at Falcon Park." - "One swing downs Doubledays at home" - Auburn Doubledays News

Low-A Hagerstown: "Third baseman Drew Ward followed with a single to left, driving in two more runs to make it 3-1. First baseman Jimmy Yezzo produced the final run of the frame with a double to left, bringing home Kieboom to make it 4-1." - "Suns begin series with Lakewood with 8-4 win" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News

• "Tuesday’s News & Notes" - NationalsProspects.com

High-A Potomac: "The P-Nats brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth when LF Randolph Oduber stepped up with two outs. Oduber popped out to the catcher Gallagher to end the inning." - "Blue Rocks Best P-Nats 5-1 in Opener" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Baseball separated sweethearts Mark and Vickie Harris much of the year, so they had a system..." - "Harrisburg Senators coach Mark Harris leans on baseball after his wife’s sudden death" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "He's not eager to whiff, but being behind in the count doesn't immediately raise his blood pressure, either." - "Little things a big deal for Harrisburg Senators OF Caleb Ramsey" - Dave Sottile, PennLive.com

• "Former Mt. Juliet High pitcher Taylor Hill has been voted onto the International League roster for next week’s Triple-A All-Star Game." - "Hill elected to International League All-Star team" - Lebanon Democrat

Triple-A Syracuse: "The teams traded volleys again in the third, with the same Syracuse batters supplying the firepower." - "Chiefs rally past Braves, win third straight" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• NATSTOWN:

• "For a team with one of baseball’s best bullpens, you would not expect the Washington Nationals to be 2-8 in extra-inning games." - "Three-Homer Eleventh Helps O’s Sink Nats" - Andrew Flax, The Nats Blog

• "Orioles fan throws back Anthony Rendon's home run ball at Nationals Park" - Nats Enquirer

• "While 'Moneyball,' the movie version of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, will try to convince you otherwise, the ability to even adequately field first base is no simple task." - "The scoop on LaRoche's stellar glove work" - Stuart Wallace, MASNSports.com

• "The Washington Nationals came back from a two-run deficit to carry Game 1 of the Battle of the Beltway to extras, but Chris Davis sparked a six-run 11th to help the Baltimore Orioles to an 8-2 win." - "Washington Nationals Game 88 Review: Nats Crumble in 11th to Open Beltway Series with Loss" - Alyssa Wolice, District Sports Page

• "Stephen Strasburg on Orioles fans at Nationals Park: Maybe someday it'll be different.'" - Nats Enquirer

• "Nats all-star review: 2014 and years past" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "Braves ace Julio Teheran was named to his first National League All-Star team, but will likely be ineligible to pitch in the July 15 game at Minnesota..." - "Teheran an All-Star, but won’t pitch in game" - www.ajc.com

Phillies: "Sunday's game that was halted due to rain resumed in the third inning and righty Aaron Nola (1-1, 3.18 ERA) picked up his first professional victory as the Threshers won, 3-0." - "Phillies Minor League Report: Aaron Nola earns first professional victory" - Jerry Gaul, Philly.com

Mets: "Jacob deGrom will make his 11th start of the season for the Mets on Tuesday, and will be looking for his second major league win." - "Morning Briefing: deGrom needs support" - Kieran Darcy, Mets Blog - ESPN New York

Marlins: "The demotion of Andrew Heaney over the weekend would have been bigger news had two things not been happening..." - "Andrew Heaney demotion: Marlins should not be concerned about Heaney's game" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes

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