Sunday, May 18, 2008

O's-Nats, No Comeback Today

The O's had already won the series against the Nationals, but a sweep would have been nice.

Jeremy Guthrie didn't have his best stuff today, but only gave up one run on a solo home run by Cristian Guzman (it would have been two, but Nick threw a runner out at the plate to end the seventh). That he walked 3 and struck out none isn't a great sign, especially against a less than patient Washington line-up. Chad Bradford didn't have his usual control, walking 2 and giving up a pair of hits and a run. Two runs from the pitching staff is usually great, but it wasn't enough. The offense couldn't get anything going against John Lannan (7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K). He had good movement, threw strikes, and changed speeds. Very impressive start, unfortunately. The O's finally got something going in the eighth, getting a single from Adam Jones and a pinch-hit double by Luke Scott (see, he can hit lefties). Luis Ayala relieved after a rain delay, and a sac fly by Brian Roberts was all they could get.


In the top of the ninth, Jamie Walker came in and pitched OK, keeping the Nats off the board. For (at least) the second time this year, Nick got an assist by forcing out a runner at second on a ball hit to right field.

Markakis leads off the ninth against the current Washington closer, Jon Rauch. Nick goes down swinging at a curve in the dirt. Millar flies one to left, and the O's are down to their final out. Huff bounces one to first, and Aaron Boone can't handle it. Could Jay Payton provide some more heroics? Nope, he pops out to third.

Can't do much when the opposing pitcher is on his game. Lannan just outpitched Guthrie, who was still pretty good. That ends the win-streak, but the O's still take the series before traveling to New York for a three-game set starting Tuesday against the last-place Yankees.

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