After getting shut out in the first of two with the Baltimore Orioles last night, Washington’s Nationals came out swinging in the second game with the O’s in the nation’s capital, scoring five runs in the first and adding three more in the fifth in what ended up an 8-4 win.
Max Scherzer went four-plus innings in his second start off the injured list, but was out after 89 pitches in 4 1⁄3 IP, and the Nationals’ bullpen handled the rest of the workload in the Nats’ 74th win of the season.
Scherzer vs the Orioles: Max Scherzer took the mound tonight against the Orioles with an 11-start unbeaten streak going, over which the Nationals’ ace was (7-0) with a 1.23 ERA, 12 walks, 105 Ks and a .180/.224/.289 line against in 73 IP.
Scherzer extended the streak in his last outing, though he went just four innings against the Pirates and received no decision in what ended up being a 7-1 win in PNC Park, in his first start off his second IL stint of the year.
On the season, Scherzer was (9-5) in 21 starts with a 2.41 ERA, 26 walks, 192 Ks, and a stingy .216/.263/.346 line against in 138 1⁄3 IP overall on the season before taking on the O’s.
Given a 5-0 lead to work with after a scoreless, 14-pitch first, Scherzer tossed another 14-pitch frame in the second, but back-to-back, two-out hits, a single by Jonathan Villar and RBI double by Anthony Santander, got the Orioles on the board, down 5-1 in the third. A walk to Trey Mancini pushed the Nationals’ starter up to 50 pitches, but he got out No. 3 and his 6th K with his 54th pitch of the outing.
Scherzer picked up two Ks (his 199th and 200th of 2019, reaching the 200 K plateau for the eight consecutive season) in an 18P fourth inning, and he came back out for the fifth and gave up Chance Sisco’s 7th home run of the season on a 94 MPH 3-2 fastball inside, 5-2.
Jonathan Villar reached on an infield single with one down, and Scherzer up to 84 pitches.
Anthony Santander singled in the next at bat, on a roller to second Brian Dozier could only knock down, before the Nationals went to the pen...
Max Scherzer’s Line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 Ks, 89 P, 58 S, 3/0 GO/FO.
Wojciechowski vs the Nationals: O’s right-hander Asher Wojciechowski gave up six hits and three earned runs in 5 1⁄3 innings against the Nationals when he faced the Orioles’ regional rivals in Oriole Park at Camden Yards back in mid-July, taking the loss in what ended up an 8-1 game.
Going into his second start of the season against Washington, the 30-year-old starter was winless in his previous five outings, with a 6.00 ERA, 25 hits (nine of them home runs), 15 walks, 21 Ks, and a .258/.368/.588 line against in 24 IP.
Wojciechowski gave up two runs early in the second of two with the Nationals, hitting Adam Eaton with one out, then surrendering a double by Anthony Rendon and a two-run triple out to center by Juan Soto, whose fifth three-base hit of the season made it a 2-0 game, and an RBI single by Asdrúbal Cabrera brought Soto in for a 3-0 Nats’ lead. Kurt Suzuki hit a 91 MPH 2-0 fastball out to left in the next at bat, and it was 5-0 before the O’s starter got out of what ended up a 36-pitch first.
Wojciechowski held the Nats there through four, but threw 80 pitches total in those innings, and he was done for the night when he spot in the order came up in the top of the fifth.
Asher Wojciechowski’s Line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 70 P, 43 S, 5/0 GO/FO.
Turn-On: Nationals’ shortstop Trea Turner extended his on-base streak to 33-straight games with a leadoff single in last night’s matchup with the Orioles, and went 2 for 4 overall, which left him 49 for 141 (.348/.413/.553) with seven doubles, two triples, six homers, and 16 walks over the course of the streak, which stretched back to July 23rd.
Turner was 0 for 3 against Asher Wojciechowski, and he grounded out in a sixth-inning at bat against Dillon Tate.
He got one more shot in the bottom of the eighth, with Tayler Scott on the mound for the Orioles, but grounded out. 0 for 5, K, 3 LOB. Goodbye, Streak.
Adam Eaton Leaves Game: Adam Eaton reached base the hard way with one down in the home-half of the first tonight, taking a 91 MPH fastball from Orioles’ right-hander Asher Wojiechowski off the outside of his right knee/upper shin, and he stayed in the game to take his base, and made his way to third on Anthony Rendon’s double in the next at bat, but it wasn’t an easy trip for Eaton, who limped into third and left the game, replaced by Gerardo Parra.
BULLPEN ACTION: Wander Suero took over for Max Scherzer with two on and one out in the Orioles’ half of the fifth, and dialed up an inning-ending 5-4-3 DP to keep it a 5-2 game in the Nationals’ favor.
Richard Bleier came on for the O’s in the bottom of the fifth and gave up back-to-back, one-out singles by Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto, and an RBI double to right field by Asdrúbal Cabrera brought Rendon around to make it a 6-2 game, before Kurt Suzuki drove in two more with his 10th double of 2019 on sharp line drive to left, 8-2.
That was it for Bleier, who got into a heated discussion with the O’s third base coach in the dugout and tunnel to the visitor’s clubhouse.
Dillon Tate worked around a walk to Brian Dozier to get the O’s out of the fifth.
Tanner Rainey came on in the sixth with a six-run lead and walked the first batter he faced, then struck out two before surrendering a bomb of a two-run home run on a 100 MPH 2-2 fastball to Chris Davis that ended up in the upper deck. 8-4. No. 10 for Davis.
Tate returned to the mound in the bottom of the sixth inning and retired the Nationals in order.
Javy Guerra gave up leadoff and two-out singles in the top of the seventh, but struck DJ Stewart out to escape a first-and-third jam and keep it a four-run game.
Gabriel Ynoa got an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP out of Kurt Suzuki after a one-out single by Asdrúbal Cabrera. Still 8-4 Nats.
Fernando Rodney retired the O’s in order in the eighth, striking out two in a 17-pitch frame.
Tayler Scott worked his way out of a first-and-third, no-out jam in the bottom of the eighth.
Daniel Hudson came on with a four-run lead in the top of the ninth and retired the Orioles in order to end it. Ballgame.
Final Score: 8-4 Nationals
Nationals now 74-58