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Washington Nationals blow lead in bullpen, drop 2nd straight to Baltimore Orioles, 5-3

Sean Doolittle gave up two solo shots and Daniel Hudson surrendered a three-run blast as the Nationals blew a 3-0 lead in the 8th and lost to the Orioles again...

MLB: AUG 08 Orioles at Nationals Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Washington’s Nationals were well on their way to a 3-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles, but a three-home run assault by the O’s in the eighth put them on top and gave them another win in the nation’s capital.

Sean Doolittle gave up two solo blasts to start the top of the eighth, and Daniel Hudson got tagged for a three-run shot as the visiting team took the lead and eventually took a second straight win from the defending World Series champs (and then probably sent out another silly, obnoxious, “We went 1-0 today” tweet about it. For shame!).

Stephen Strasburg will have to try to help the Nationals salvage one in the series finale on Sunday...

Voth vs the O’s: Austin Voth took an L in his 2020 debut, but acquitted himself well in a five-inning, 70-pitch outing in which he gave up four hits (two homers) and three runs total, two earned, in what ended up a 5-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

“Voth pitched well,” Manager Davey Martinez said after the loss to the Jays. “He kept us in the ballgame.”

Voth told reporters he was just happy to get his first start in as the fifth starter in the club’s rotation, after battling for the spot in Spring Training 1.0 and 2.0.

“It feels great,” Voth said. “Been working to be in the rotation for so long and now that I am the fifth starter, it just feels amazing. I just feel like I belong.”

His second start of the 2020 campaign began with two scoreless innings of work against the Baltimore Orioles, which the righty completed on 29 pitches.

A 10-pitch, 1-2-3 third, and eight-pitch, 1-2-3 fourth left Voth at 47 pitches total.

A walk to Rio Ruiz and a single by Renato Núñez put two on with no one out in the top of the fifth, but Voth got the first two outs without either runner advancing, and then struck Chris Davis out, battling back from 3-0 to get a swinging K from the strikeout-prone Orioles’ bat to complete five scoreless on 73 pitches.

Austin Voth’s Line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 73 P, 45 S, 4/3 GO/FO.

Eshelman vs the Nats: Orioles’ righty Thomas Eshelman’s first outing of the 2020 season was a relief appearance in which the 26-year-old gave up a one hit (a home run), one walk and just the one run in 3 13 IP. Eshelman, a 2015 second Round pick by the Houston Astros, was traded in a 3-team deal in 2015 that featured Vince Velasquez going to the Phillies, and subsequently dealt to Baltimore for international bonus slot money in June of 2019.

Eshelman tossed a scoreless first tonight, but Juan Soto took him the other way on an 0-1 curve in the first at bat of the second, sending a solo shot to left field to put the Nationals ahead 1-0 early. Soto’s 1st of 2020.

Howie Kendrick singled to right in the next at bat, took third on a one-out single to center by Asdrúbal Cabrera, and scored on a sac fly by Kurt Suzuki, 2-0.

Eshelman held the Nationals there through four, but was done for the night after 57 pitches.

Thomas Eshelman’s Line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR 57 P, 39 S, 2/2 GO/FO.

Soto Goes Oppo; Dances: Juan Soto was thrilled to get back in the lineup in Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, telling reporters after the outing that he waited for a long time to get back on the field.

“I’m happy to be back, I’m happy to play the sport that I love to do and everything,” Soto said.

He doubled to left the first time up, singled in his second at bat, and went 2 for 4 in what ended up a 3-1 loss to the Mets.

Tonight against the Orioles, after an 0 for 4 in the series opener, Soto homered the first time up, taking an 0-1 curve out the other way for a solo blast, and he hit a 3-1 curve to center the second time up for a single, 2 for 2.

Soto K’d looking with a runner in scoring position in the sixth, 2 for 3,

BULLPEN ACTION: Evan Phillips took over on the mound for the Orioles in the bottom of the fifth, and walked Asdrúbal Cabrera. Kurt Suzuki reached on a pop to short left-center that shortstop José Iglesias got a glove on with an overhead attempt but couldn’t grab.

After Victor Robles K’d looking on a questionable called third strike, Suzuki was forced out at second on a Trea Turner grounder, though Turner burned down the line to first to avoid the double play.

The O’s went to lefty Tanner Scott with runners on the corners with two out, and the lefty got Adam Eaton swinging to end the threat and keep it a 2-0 game.

Javy Guerra replaced Austin Voth on the mound for the top of the sixth, and retired the side in order in a 13-pitch frame.

Starlin Castro reached on a grounder back to the mound to start the Nationals’ half of the sixth, taking second when the pitcher threw it by first, but Scott got Juan Soto looking for the first out of the frame before the Orioles went to the pen for Shawn Armstrong. Castro advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI double to center by Eric Thames, whose second two-base hit of the season put the Nationals up 3-0.

Tanner Rainey retired the O’s in order in a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the seventh (with some help from Starlin Castro).

Sean Doolittle came on in the eighth with a three-run lead, and gave up back-to-back blasts by Pat Valaika and Pedro Severino who both went deep to left field to make it a 3-2 game...

Doolittle got one out, striking out Chris Davis, but the Nationals went to the pen at that point, bringing Daniel Hudson out for a five-out save.

Austin Hays worked an 11-pitch walk off of Hudson, Hanser Alberto singled to left field, and Anthony Santander hit a 97 MPH first-pitch fastball out to left for a three-run blast and a 5-3 O’s lead.

Right-hander Cole Sulser came on for the O’s in the bottom of the eighth and gave up back-to-back, one-out walks to Starlin Castro and Juan Soto, but Howie Kendrick grounded out to the pitch for out No. 2, and Eric Thames K’d swinging to end the inning.

Ryne Harper tried to keep it close in the ninth, working around a HBP for a scoreless frame.

Miguel Castro came on to save it for the Orioles and worked around a one-out walk to Wilmer Difo to end it. Final Score: 5-3 O’s.

Nationals now 4-7