Former Nats’ starter Tommy Milone held the Nationals in check over six scoreless innings and the O’s took the first game this season with their regional rivals.
Sánchez vs the O’s: Aníbal Sánchez gave up six hits and four runs in his 2020 debut last week, with all four runs coming via solo home runs by Toronto Blue Jays’ hitters, in what ended up a 4-1 loss for the Nationals and their starter.
“I think it’s part of the game,” Sánchez said after the outing, when he was asked if he was concerned about all the balls leaving the yard.
“Sometimes that can happen, sometimes you can have a really good outing, but, you know... I think I missed the pitch against those guys.”
Start No. 2 for the 36-year-old, 15-year veteran started with back-to-back, one-out doubles (by Anthony Santander and José Iglesias) that put the visiting Orioles up 1-0 early.
Sánchez’s second inning of work started with a leadoff walk to Rio Ruiz, a double to right by Chris Davis, and a RBI single by Austin Hays, 2-0, then with runners on the corners and no one out, Hanser Alberto grounded into a force at second that brought in the third run of the game for the O’s, 3-0.
A two-out single and walk followed, pushing Sánchez up to 42 pitches in the second, and he was up to 47 when he got a swinging K to end a 31-pitch frame.
A leadoff double by Alberto and RBI single by Iglesias in the fourth made it a 4-0 O’s lead, and Sánchez was up to 70 pitches by the time he got out of the inning.
Sánchez worked around a two-out single in a 13-pitch fifth, but a one-out single in the top of the sixth ended his second start of the season after 5 1⁄3 IP in which he threw 91 pitches.
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 Ks, 91 P, 57 S, 3/2 GO/FO.
Milone returns to D.C.: Tommy Milone, a 10th round pick by the Nationals in 2008, debuted in the majors in Nationals Park on September 3, 2011, and made five starts for Washington that season before he was dealt to the Oakland A’s that winter in the trade that brought Gio Gonzalez to the nation’s capital.
Back in D.C. tonight, the lefty, who signed as rotation depth with the O’s, and started for the club on Opening Day, tossed three scoreless to start as his teammates built up a 4-0 lead.
The Nationals loaded the bases with two out in the fourth, but Josh Harrison grounded into a force at second to end the rally, and a 15-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth left the left-hander at 77 pitches overall in 5.0 scoreless.
It was 8-0 O’s when Milone came back out for the sixth and retired the Nationals in order in a 13-pitch frame which left him at 88 total in six scoreless.
Tommy Milone’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 90 P, 61 S, 7/4 GO/FO.
Soto Round 2: Juan Soto made his 2020 debut in Wednesday’s series finale with New York’s Mets, going 2 for 4 with hits in each of his first two at bats of the season, and he dove for a ball in the outfield as well, making an impressive catch on which he turned his wrist, though it wasn’t bad enough to take him out of the game.
“He’s good. He’s in the lineup today,” Davey Martinez told reporters before the series opener with the Orioles tonight. “I told him if he felt anything let me know, he said he felt fine.”
Going up against Orioles’ lefty Tommy Milone, Soto, who finished with a .285/.371/.478 line against left-handers in 2019, was 0 for 3, and he finished the night 0 for 4 after striking out in the bottom of the ninth with reliever David Hess on the mound.
BULLPEN ACTION: Ryne Harper inherited a runner (on first) from Aníbal Sánchez with one out in the top of the sixth and gave up a single to center by José Iglesias (4 for 4 at that point) that put runners on first and third, both of whom scored on a three-run home run to left by Renato Núñez, 7-0, and it was 8-0 when both Dwight Smith, Jr. and Pedro Severino followed with back-to-back doubles.
Wander Suero got the seventh for the Nationals and gave up back-to-back hits to start the inning with a run scoring on a groundout in the third bat, 9-0, and 10-0, on a sac fly out to center by José Iglesias. Pedro Severino drove in the club’s 11th run with an RBI single, 11-0.
Travis Lakins, Sr. tossed a scoreless seventh inning.
Kyle Finnegan worked around a one-out single in a scoreless top of the eighth.
David Hess worked around a leadoff walk to Carter Kieboom for a scoreless bottom of the seventh inning.
Sam Freeman worked around an error and a walk, striking out three in a scoreless top of the ninth.
Hess came back out for the bottom of the ninth inning and retired the Nationals in order to end it.
Final Score: 11-0 Orioles.
Nationals now 4-6