BALTIMORE (AP) -- Livan Hernandez finally figured a way out of
his funk, opting for a post-midnight movie at his neighborhood
theater over a good night's sleep the night before his start.
Hernandez won for the first time in four starts, Royce Clayton
hit a three-run double and the Washington Nationals snapped a
five-game losing streak with a 9-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
"You believe it or not, [but] I go to the movies last night -- 1
o' clock in the morning, 12:15," Hernandez said. "The new movie,
Tourismo, and I watch a movie and I go home at like 2:45 in the
morning. I'm not going to do it every time, but I got to do
something different. Every time I struggle, I have to do something
Marlon Byrd homered for the Nationals, who averted a three-game
sweep at Camden Yards. The teams, playing this year for the first
time since the Montreal Expos moved to Washington in 2005, split
six interleague games.
"It's been tough against these American League teams," Byrd
said. "We did well against the Yankees and Baltimore was swinging
good against us. It's got to carry over for us."
Hernandez (6-8), who had dropped three straight decisions after
winning four consecutive starts, allowed three runs and six hits in
six-plus innings. He walked three and struck out one.
Six effective innings from Hernandez and an outburst from an
offense that had scored three or fewer runs in each of their five
losses was just what the Nationals needed.
"Maybe that will get us going," Nationals manager Frank
Robinson said. "Nine runs -- you can't take them with you.
Hopefully this thing can get us on a roll."
Washington exploited the wildness of Daniel Cabrera (4-5), who
walked five, hit a batter and uncorked a team-record four wild
pitches -- one shy of the AL mark -- in 4 2/3 innings.
"Starting pitching sets the tone of the game usually and we
felt like Daniel was the right man to try to keep this thing
going," said Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo, whose team had won
two straight and three of four. "He couldn't rise to the occasion
The Nationals went up 2-0 in the third. Byrd led off with a
double, moved to third on a bunt and scored on Cabrera's second
wild pitch of the game. With two down, Nick Johnson doubled and
Daryle Ward followed with an RBI single to right.
A bases-loaded double by Clayton increased the Nationals' lead
to 5-1 in the fifth and chased Cabrera. He gave up six runs and
Washington loaded the bases on walks to Johnson, Ward and Robert Fick before Clayton slapped Cabrera's first pitch into the
right-center gap for a two-out, three-run double. Sendy Rleal
relieved and yielded a run-scoring single to Marlon Anderson,
making it 6-1.
Byrd led off the sixth by hitting a solo shot off Rleal, his
fourth homer of the year. Rleal then loaded the bases before Ward's
Hernandez departed in the seventh, ahead 8-2. Lopez led off with
a double and Corey Patterson followed with a run-scoring single
before Hernandez loaded the bases on a single by Jeff Conine and a
walk to Howie Clark.
Before the game, Baltimore signed RHP Russ Ortiz, who had
been cut by Arizona, which still owes him almost $22 million. Ortiz
will start July 1 in place of LHP Adam Loewen, who was optioned to
Triple-A Ottawa. ... Hernandez made his 300th career start. ...
Cabrera has been charged with 13 wild pitches, tops in the majors.
The Orioles' season record is 15 by Chuck Estrada in 1960. ... In
six games against Baltimore, Nationals 2B Jose Vidro went
14-for-24. ... Baltimore is 6-6 in interleague play, while
Washington is 5-7.