DC right fielder Elijah Dukes catches the first out of the night off the bat of Orioles’ leadoff batter Brian Roberts. Nick Markakis gets hold of a 2-1 fastball from Odalis Perez and bounces it off the wall in left center, getting a rise out of the many Baltimore fans who've made the trip south. Melvin Mora chases an arching inside breaking ball for a swinging strike three. Kevin Millar works a two-out walk, but Odalis Perez strands both runners when a ground ball from Ramon Hernandez ends the top of the first....O’s righty Daniel Cabrera’s second pitch is driven into the gap by the Guzzzzz, Cristian Guzman to lead off the DC first. Elijah Dukes pops out unproductively to short right. Lastings Milledge’s sharp grounder up the middle scores Guzman, and gets by Orioles’ center fielder Adam Jones who misplays an RBI single into a two-base error. 1-0 DC. Jesus Flores goes the other way for an RBI single to right. Milledge scores. 2-0 DC. DY rakes a single to right. Boone grounds to Brian Roberts, to Brandon Fahey to Mill-ah at first. 2-0 DC after one.
Aaron Boone backhands a two-hopper from Jay Payton and fires to first in time. Adam Jones lines a single to left off Odalis Perez. Brandon Fahey flies out, and Perez strikes out the opposing pitcher, sending Cabrera back out to the mound...WMP battles but ends up grounding out to third. Willie Harris backs Jay Payton up to the track in left where he catches the second out. Odalis Perez beats Kevin Millar to the line, and Odalis turns it on around first, easily taking second. Guzman gets the intentionals, after Cabrera starts the Guz with three balls, bringing up Elijah Dukes, who, utilizing his Discerning Eye, works a two-out walk. Lastings Milledge flies out unproductively to right. 2-0 after two.
Brian Roberts flies out weakly to right. Odalis Perez gets a fly out from Markakis for the second out of the third, and issues a two-out walk to Melvin Mora, before Mill-ah flies out to Pena in deep left to end the Orioles’ half...Flores pops up to right, Brian Roberts sprints into the outfield and makes the catch at his knees as he reaches the foul line. DY singles, and moves to second on Aaron Boone’s ground out. WMP grounds out to third. 2-0 after three.
Ramon Hernandez finds the hole at short and grounds into left for a leadoff single in the fourth. Jay Payton beats out the back end of his own DP grounder. Adam Jones takes a one-out walk from Perez. Brandon Fahey grounds out to DY, who tosses to Odalis Perez covering first, and Cabrera takes a few weak hacks and strands two runners...Willie Harris takes strike three inside from Cabrera. Peter Orr pinch hits for the pitcher Odalis Perez, and pops out to left. Guzman pops out to short. 2-0 DC after four.
Steven Shell starts the fifth in place of Odalis Perez, who threw 75 pitches through four in his return from the DL. Elijah Dukes sprints to the line and slides, but can’t come up with Brian Roberts’ sliced fly ball, Roberts takes third when Dukes comes up empty. Nick Markakis makes the most of a groundout. Roberts scores. 2-1 Nationals. Shell walks Melvin Mora, gets a fly out to center from Mill-ah, and then issues a two-out walk to Ramon Hernandez, before throwing a fastball by Jay Payton to end the Orioles’ fifth with a 2-1 DC lead...Elijah Dukes goes down swinging to start the Nationals’ fifth. Lastings Milledge grounds out. Jesus Flores swings through a fastball. 2-1 after five.
Shell’s back out for his second frame in the fifth. Adam Jones lines over third and keeps running on Wily Mo Pena who misplays it, and allows Jones in at second without a play. Brandon Fahey drops a blooper down the line in left to score Jones, but gets thrown out by Pena trying to take second. 2-2 ballgame. Brian Roberts grounds out to end the top of the sixth...Dmitri Young’s robbed by Markakis who speeds back to catch the first out of the DC sixth. Boone grounds out. WMP swings over a fastball inside. 2-2 after six.
“Wild” Joel Hanrahan starts the seventh for DC with a leadoff walk to Nick Markakis. Melvin Mora pops straight up off his fists. Mill-ah flies out to right. Hanrahan throws heat by Ramon Hernandez to end the top of the seventh. Stand up and stretch...Willie Harris walks to start the bottom of the seventh. Kory Casto pinch hits for Hanrahan, and lines to left, Payton slides and misses, Harris scores, Casto to second. 3-2 DC. Passed ball moves Casto to third. Guzman grounds out unproductively to first. Dukes with the RBI opp? Dukes goes up the middle and straight into the grass curly-W in the outfield. Casto scores. 4-2 Nationals. Milledge lines a single to center, and Daniel Cabrera’s done...Dennis Sarfate on in relief for the Orioles. Dukes takes third and Milledge runs to second on Jesus Flores’ fly out to center. DY? Sarfate issues the intentionals. Aaron Boone grounds out to end the seventh.
Luis “Set-Up” Ayala’s on to pitch the eighth. Jay Payton grounds back to the mound. Adam Jones drives a single to left. Luke Scott gets booed by the crowd. (ed. note - “No, I don’t think it WAS Orioles’ fans cheering, ‘Luke’.") Scott flies out to Willie Harris in left. Aubrey Huff grounds to short, Guzman throws to first. 4-2 Nationals after seven and a half...Fernando Cabrera will pitch the eighth for the Orioles. Ronnie Belliard pops out. Willie Harris walks. Felipe Lopez up next, Willie Harris swipes second, Lopez walks. Guzman lines out to first, and Mill-ah stumbles back too late to double-up Lopez. Elijah Dukes swings over a full-count curve...Wait for it...
The Tallest PItcher in MLB History, Jon Rauch comes out to close it....Top o’ the O’s order...Brian Roberts lines a full-count fastball to left and by a diving Willie Harris for a leadoff double. Nick Markakis works a walk. Melvin Mora grounds to Guzman, to Lopez at second, to Boone at first, double play. Roberts to third. Kevin Mill-ah...flies out to center, and Lastings Milledge closes his glove on a 4-2 Nationals’ win.
Nationals now 32-49.