For the second consecutive night, the Nationals (33-42) could not hold on to their large early lead over the Orioles (22-52). Washington dropped the second game of the series in Baltimore 6-5, putting the Nats in danger of being swept by one of their biggest rivals.
The Nationals jumped out to an early lead in the game when in the top of the third, where contributions from Adam Dunn, Ivan Rodriguez, and Roger Bernadina helped Washington put four big runs on the board. In the top of the fourth the Nats decided to play a little small ball to manufacture their runs. Ian Desmond led of the inning with a single to center, then with Nyjer Morgan batting, he successfully stole second base putting a run in scoring position with no outs. Now with Desmond at second, Morgan laid down a sacrifice bunt moving Desmond to third with just one out. Cristian Guzman then got the job done by hitting a sacrifice fly to Nick Markakis in right field, scoring Desmond. If that’s not fundamental baseball then I don’t know what is.
The Orioles began chipping away in the bottom of the fourth after an Adam Jones solo shot, but the real damage came in the next inning. Cesar Izturis led off the bottom of the fifth with a single, followed by a Corey Patterson double that put a runner at second and third with none out. Both of those runners scored on back-to-back RBI singles by Miguel Tejada and Nick Markakis, tying the game at 5-5.
Like Fridays game, an errant throw was the difference in this one, but this time it came from reliever Drew Storen. With Luke Scott and third and Matt Wieters at first, Storen threw a pitch to Ty Wigginton that got away from Rodriquez, allowing Scott to score the go ahead run and Wieters to move up to second. Baltimore never looked back as their bullpen didn’t allow a hit to the Nationals in the last five innings of the game, as a matter of fact, Washington only got one player on base in the last five frames thanks to a walk by Jason Berken.
After they wrap up their series with the Orioles the Nationals will head down to Atlanta to take on the division leading Braves for a three game set.