BALTIMORE, MD: A three-run blast by Anthony Rendon in the third provided all the support Gio Gonzalez needed in what ended up a 6-0 Washington Nationals’ win over Alex Cobb and the Baltimore Orioles today in front of a crowd of 36,139 on Memorial Day in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Gonzalez tossed 7 2⁄3 scoreless on 114 pitches, for his first win against the O’s since 2009, when he was a member of the Oakland A’s rotation.
Rendon drove in three with his sixth home run of the season, then doubled and scored with Orioles’ lefty Richard Bleier on the mound in the top of the eighth, 4-0.
Matt Adams, who drove in the fourth run, scored the fifth a two-out RBI single to left field by Michael A. Taylor that made it 5-0, and the sixth run of the game scored on an infield single by Wilmer Difo that capped off a three-run eighth that left it 6-0 Nationals.
Gio Gonzalez vs Orioles: Gio Gonzalez hasn’t fared well against the Orioles over the course of his career, with his only win against the various iterations of Baltimore’s lineup way back in 2009.
He’d gone (0-6) in nine starts since, including four losses in five starts since he joined the Nationals’ rotation in 2012.
Gonzalez did, however, go into his 11th career start against the Orioles in the midst of a five-start unbeaten streak, over which he’d posted a 1.80 ERA with 14 walks, 31 strikeouts, and a .194/.282/.315 line against in 30 IP.
Gonzalez tossed two scoreless on 35 pitches to start this afternoon’s series opener, working around back-to-back, two-out walks in the O’s second inning, with a backwards K from Orioles’ catcher Andrew Susac ending the frame and leaving opposing hitters 6 for 51 (.188 BAA) with runners in scoring position against the Nationals’ lefty in 2018.
Bryce Harper leapt at the right field wall to bring down a long fly ball off Susac’s bat for the third out of a 13-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth that left Gonzalez at 70 pitches overall after five scoreless, with a 3-0 lead courtesy of Anthony Rendon’s three-run home run in the third.
National League HR leader Bryce Harper robbed a HR...— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 28, 2018
... and threw it into the third deck. pic.twitter.com/v0m0Z7V1bh
Adam Jones doubled to right field off Gonzalez with one out in the sixth, giving the O’s their second opportunity with a runner in scoring position this afternoon, but Manny Machado popped out to foul territory off first (6 for 52, .115 AVG), and Jonathan Schoop K’d swinging over a 1-2 curve to end a 16-pitch frame (6 for 53, .113 AVG w/ RISP).
Danny Valencia singled to start the Orioles’ seventh, but Gonzalez got a 6-4-3 DP out of Trey Mancini with a 1-2 changeup, and a groundout to third ended a nine-pitch frame, 95 total.
Gonzalez came back out for the eighth, and recorded two outs before a single ended his day after 114 pitches in 7 2⁄3 scoreless.
Gio Gonzalez’s Line: 7.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 114 P, 67 S, 10/3 GO/FO.
Cobb vs D.C.: Alex Cobb was (0-5) with the Orioles 0-6 in his first six starts after signing a 4-year/$57M free agent deal with Baltimore in late March, with a 7.06 ERA, six walks, 16 Ks, and a .371/.397/.644 line against in his first 29 1⁄3 IP this season.
Cobb snapped that streak with a win over the Red Sox in which he gave up 10 hits and three earned runs in 6 1⁄3 IP, but followed up on that start with his shortest outing of the season, 3 2⁄3 innings against the Chicago White Sox in which he gave up eight hits, two walks, and six earned runs.
Anthony Rendon made Cobb pay for putting two on in front of him in the third, hitting a 1-1 fastball out to left on a line for a three-run blast after Trea Turner singled and Bryce Harper walked with two down, 3-0 Nationals. Rendon’s sixth of 2018 and second in two days.
Trea Turner's favorite player did a Trea Turner's favorite player thing for the second day in a row. pic.twitter.com/p6oJk4wmIT— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 28, 2018
Cobb was up to 38 pitches in the third and 62 total in the game after Matt Adams singled and Mark Reynolds walked, and 42 and 66 when Juan Soto K’d looking to end a long frame.
That was all for the Nationals through six. Michael A. Taylor doubled to start the top of the seventh, sending a chopper by third into left, but he was stranded at third base three outs later, and Cobb was done for the day after seven innings and 101 pitches.
Alex Cobb’s Line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 101 P, 66 S, 10/4 GO/FO.
Rendone it again: Anthony Rendon lined a home run to left off Miami Marlins’ right-hander Elieser Hernandez in Sunday’s win in Marlins Park, and hit his second homer in two games off Alex Cobb in the top of the third inning this afternoon in Oriole Park. His 6th of the 2018 campaign today gave the Nationals a 3-0 lead, after he’d put the Nationals up 1-0 with his blast on Sunday afternoon, starting the scoring in each game.
It was Rendon’s 5th road homer so far this season, with his only home run in Nationals Park against the New York Yankees in May 15th’s suspended game.
Rendon lined his 10th double of the season to right-center on a 2-1 sinker from left-hander Richard Bleier with one down in the eighth, leaving him 2 for 4 on the day, and scored from second on a single to center by Matt Adams to make it a 4-0 game.
BULLPEN ACTION: Orioles’ left Richard Bleier took over in the eighth and gave up a double to right-center by Rendon and an RBI single by Matt Adams that put the Nationals up 4-0.
Michael A. Taylor and Wilmer Difo added RBI singles before Bleier was done with the score 6-0 in the Nats’ favor.
Shawn Kelley took over with a runner on and two out in the eighth against Adam Jones, and gave up a single to center. Jones took second on the throw in to third, but both runners got left on base when Manny Machado popped out to end the inning. Still 6-0 Nationals.
Kelley came back out for the bottom of the ninth inning, and set the Orioles down in order.
Final Score: 6-0 Nationals
Nationals now 30-22