Matt Harvey was up to 12 scoreless in his last two outings after he kept the Washington Nationals off the board through six innings tonight in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and Harvey dominated too, retiring 18 of the 19 batters he faced as the O’s built a 5-0 lead, cruising to a 5-3 win for their second straight over the regional rivals in the three-game series.
Juan Soto’s solo shot in the seventh got the Nationals on the board, and Trea Turner drove in two with a bases-loaded single in the eighth, but that’s as close as they got...
Lester vs the Orioles: Jon Lester tossed seven scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins last time out before tonight, giving up six hits and striking out a season-high seven batters in what ended up a 15-1 win.
His manager said after the game he was excited to see the Lester he knew from earlier in his career in that outing against the Fish.
“I told him after we took him out that that’s the guy that I’ve seen for many, many years,” Davey Martinez told reporters after the game.
“His stuff is still good, he just can’t be afraid to throw it and nibble, just attack the hitters, go after the hitters, and if they hit, they’ll hit it at somebody. You got to trust your defense, and he did that tonight.”
Looking to follow up on that outing, Lester took the mound today in place of an injured Max Scherzer and retired the first two batters he faced before Trey Mancini jumped all over an 0-0 cutter and hit a solo shot to left-center field to put the Orioles up 1-0 after one.
Ryan Mountcastle hit an 86 MPH 1-2 sinker out to center with two down in the home-half of the fifth, connecting for his 16th HR of the season and making it 2-0 Orioles after four.
Lester tossed a scoreless, 20-pitch fifth, but he gave up a leadoff double by Cedric Mullins in the bottom of the sixth and that was it for the lefty in Oriole Park...
Jon Lester’s Line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks, 2 HRs, 70 P, 41 S, 5/4 GO/FO.
Watkins vs the Nats: The Nationals put nine hits and six runs, five earned, up on Matt Harvey when they faced the former Mets’ starter in the nation’s capital back in May.
Harvey was in the midst of a losing streak at that point, which stretched on for 12 starts, in which he was (0-9) with a 10.20 ERA, 17 walks, 39 Ks, and a .363/.411/.604 line against over 45 IP, but he snapped that streak last time out before tonight, when he tossed six scoreless on the road in Kansas City and earned his fourth win of the year.
Tonight, at home in Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the 32-year-old righty retired the first 10 batters he faced in order, before Trea Turner hit a one-out double to right field in the top of the fourth, but two outs later, Turner was stranded at third base and Harvey was through four scoreless on 48 pitches with a 1-0 lead.
Harvey was up to 83 pitches after six, and the Orioles added three runs in the bottom of the inning before going to the bullpen...
Harvey retired 18 of 19 batters faced, giving up just the double by Turner in his six innings of work on the mound...
Matt Harvey’s Line: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 Ks, 83 P, 55 S, 11/2 GO/FO.
Soto Oppo: Juan Soto started the night 12 for 26 (.462 AVG) with two doubles, five home runs, 12 RBIs, seven walks, a stolen base, and eight runs scored in seven games since the All-Star break, with his five homers out of the break the most in the majors in that stretch, and he connected for his sixth in eight games tonight in OPACY, hitting one out the other way to get the Nationals on the board in the top of the seventh.
Bullpen Action: Austin Voth took over for the Nationals with a runner on second and no one out in the sixth, and gave up an RBI double to right by Austin Hays, 3-0 Orioles.
A single out to center by Trey Mancini and a walk to Ryan Mountcastle loaded the bases with Orioles with no one out, but Voth got the first out on a backwards K of Ramón Urías, before Pedro Severino hit an RBI double to left with one down to make it 4-0 O’s in the home-half of the sixth.
Adam Plutko took over for the Orioles in the top of the seventh and gave up a one-out, oppo home run to left-center by Juan Soto, who hit his 17th of 2021 on a 2-2 cutter outside to get the Nationals on the board, down 5-1 after six and a half.
Sam Clay got an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP out of Austin Hays after giving up a one-out single by Cedric Mullins on the Orioles’ half of the seventh.
Josh Harrison doubled off Plutko in the top of the eighth, and the Orioles went to the pen again for lefty Tanner Scott against pinch hitter Carter Kieboom, and Scott hit him on the foot to put two on with no one out.
Another HBP on Tres Barrera loaded the bases, but pinch hitter Victor Robles K’d looking, and Alcides Escobar K’d swinging, before Trea Turner hit two-run single to right to make it 5-3 in the Orioles’ favor. Juan Soto popped up with two on and two out, however, ending the threat.
Daniel Hudson worked around a one-out double by Ryan Mountcastle to finish a scoreless bottom of the eighth.
Dillon Tate got the save opportunity in the top of the ninth worked around a two-out single by Josh Harrison to wrap this one up.
Final Score: 5-3 Orioles
Nationals now 45-52