Talking Behind Their Back: Nationals
After taking two of three from the Nationals, the Orioles closed out their interleague slate with a more than respectable 11-7 record. Baltimore won series against every team in the NL East except for being swept by the Florida Marlins. The only team the O's swept was the Philadelphia Phillies.
Baltimore had the chance to take all three against the Nats on Sunday but couldn't pull it off, taking the season series in the 295 Tussle, 6-2.
The Orioles won the first game, 11-1, boosted by an eight-run sixth inning that allowed starting pitcher Brad Bergesen to pick up his fourth straight win and improve to 5-2 on the season, despite lacking his best stuff.
Game 2 also went in favor of Baltimore though it looked rough early on. Jeremy Guthrie struggled in the first inning, walking in two runs but got a timely double play to get out of the inning without giving up any more.
The team's bats picked up their ace as the Orioles hit three home runs en route to a 6-3 win. Catcher Gregg Zaun hit a solo shot to put Baltimore on the board in the second inning. Nolan Reimold hit his ninth home run (to lead all AL rookies) by blasting a three-run shot in the fifth. Aubrey Huff later came back with a solo homer of his own in the eighth inning to cap the O's scoring.
Reimold's home run was his third three-run homer and was hit so high, Nationals left fielder Josh Willingham completely lost the ball, lifting up his arms in confusion as it landed in the bleachers behind him.
Game 3 was a bit more frustrating for the Orioles as multiple mistakes by rookie catcher Matt Wieters contributed to the 5-3 loss. The Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the second but poor base running cut down what could have been a much bigger inning. Washington slugger Adam Dunn cranked a prodigious two-run homer that landed on Eutaw Street and bounced off a warehouse window. David Hernandez made his first start since being recalled from Class AAA Norfolk to replace the injure Koji Uehara, and allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings despite only seeming to be able to locate his fastball.
Wieters's adventures came later in the game as he dropped a throw from Adam Jones that would have surely led to an out at home and later air-mailed a throw to third base which allowed another run to score.
Wieters and the O's will look to put yesterday's poor result in their past as they now host the Boston Red Sox for a three-game set that begins tonight.
The last time these two teams met, the Red Sox pulled off a four-game sweep at Fenway Park, which helped propel them to an 11-game winning streak in April. The situation is different now as Boston is already on a roll.
The AL East-leading Red Sox have the second-best record in the majors (behind the Los Angeles Dodgers) at 46-29, are 17-7 in June and have won seven of their eight series in the month. So, yes the Red Sox are playing good ball right now.
The Orioles will face Jon Lester, John Smoltz and Josh Beckett as they look to beat the Red Sox for the first time since August 20, 2008, a stretch of seven straight losses. Baltimore has lost eight of their last nine against Boston but hope that Jason Berken, Rich Hill and Brad Bergesen might find a way to stem the tide.
Bergesen offers the best chance to give the Orioles a victory but will go against Beckett who is 9-3 on the year and is 5-2 with a 3.80 ERA all-time against Baltimore.
June 29, 2009; 4:11 PM ET
Categories: Nationals , Orioles , Red Sox | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Talking Behind Their Back, boston red sox, washington nationals
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