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Washington Nationals disappoint in opener with Baltimore Orioles: 6-1 O’s in OPACY

That didn’t go like the Nationals wanted to. I guess it’s Os-1 today? Sorry for that. This game got to us...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Corbin retired the first nine batters he faced tonight, but the 10th, Cedric Mullins, doubled and scored in the Baltimore Orioles’ half of the fifth, and the home team added one later in that inning, going up, 2-1, then piled on in what ended up a 6-1 win over the Washington Nationals in the series opener in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Corbin vs the Orioles: Patrick Corbin gave up 10 hits, four walks, and six earned runs in 5 13 IP against the Padres last week, leaving him with a 5.66 ERA, a 5.15 FIP, 35 walks (3.19 BB/9), 76 Ks (6.93 K/9), and a .286/.347/.481 line against in 18 starts and 98 23 IP on the season, in his third year with the Nationals.

Corbin’s velo on his fastball and sinker played up for a second straight start in that outing, which manager Davey Martinez said was the result of a concerted effort on the lefty’s part.

“I know he’s worked really hard on staying in his legs a little more,” Martinez said, “and that could be why the tick in velo is up a little bit.”

Tonight in Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Corbin, whose velo was up again, set the first nine Orioles he faced down in order, completing three perfect frames on just 36 pitches, but he came out for the fourth with a 1-0 lead, and gave up back-to-back doubles, by Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays, which quickly tied things up at 1-1. Hays took third on a groundout and scored on a two-out hit to right field off of Ramón Urías’s bat, 2-1 O’s.

Pat Valaika hit a 422 foot home run to left in the fifth, going down for a slider and golfing it out to put the Orioles up 3-1 on Corbin and the Nats after five.

Trey Mancini doubled to right-center to lead off the bottom of the sixth, and moved up on a groundout, and scored on a grounder to short by Urías, scoring when Trea Turner’s throw to the plate was high, 4-1.

Patrick Corbin’s Line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 91 P, 60 S, 8/1 GO/FO.

López vs the Nationals: Orioles’ starter Jorge López took the mound tonight winless in his last seven starts, (0-6), with the O’s 1-6 in those outings, over which the 28-year-old right-hander had a 7.29 ERA, 14 walks, 31 Ks, and a .361/.419/.521 line against in 33 13 IP.

Tonight in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, López started off strong, tossing three scoreless on 52 pitches, but his 55th pitch of the night, a 95 MPH 1-1 sinker to Josh Bell, was up and away and it got crushed, with Bell hitting it 448 ft. to right field for a leadoff blast in the top of the fourth and a 1-0 lead. Bell’s 15th of 2021.

With the score 2-1 in the O’s favor after four, Andrew Stevenson doubled to start the top of the fifth, and two outs later he was on third, when the Orioles went to the bullpen for lefty Paul Fry...

Jorge López’s Line: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 82 P, 45 S, 7/3 GO/FO.

Bell Rung: After a slow start to the his first season in D.C., Josh Bell has been swinging it over the last few months, as the Nationals mentioned in their pregame notes before the opener with the Orioles tonight.

“In his last 28 games, Josh Bell is hitting .309 with four doubles, six home runs, 21 RBI, 10 walks, and 15 runs scored,” the Nationals wrote, and he’d, “hit safely in 22 of the 28 and ... reached base safely in 25 of 28 (.374 OBP),” over that stretch.

Bell made it seven home runs in his last 29 games when he sent one out to right in the top of the fourth, for the only run the Nationals scored in what ended up a 6-1 loss.

Bullpen Action: Paul Fry took over for the Orioles with a runner on third and one out in the top of the fifth, and got the third out without the inherited runner scoring, and he returned to the mound in the sixth and struck out the side.

Wander Suero took over for Patrick Corbin with a runner on first and one down in the home-half of the sixth, and an errant pick attempt moved that runner (Ramón Urías) to third base, before he scored on a sac fly by Pedro Severino, 5-1.

Cole Sulser got the seventh for the O’s, and he gave up a leadoff single by Gerardo Parra and a one-out walk to Andrew Stevenson. Alcides Escobar K’d looking for out No. 2, and then the Orioles went to the pen again for lefty Tanner Scott vs Trea Turner, and Scott got a fly to left for out No. 3. Still 5-1 O’s.

Suero gave up Pat Valaika’s second home run of the game with one out in the bottom of the seventh, 6-1 Orioles.

Scott returned to the mound in the eighth, and retired the Nationals in order.

Ryne Harper retired the Orioles in order in the bottom of the eighth.

Dillon Tate came on in the ninth and retired the side in order to end it. That’s no bueno for the Nationals.

Final Score: 6-1 Orioles

Nationals now 45-51