WASHINGTON -- Seven different players had RBIs, and eight
starters had at least one hit. A balanced attack by the Baltimore Orioles produced a lopsided victory, one that disappointed the
majority of the history-making crowd at Washington's new ballpark.
Jones led a crowded hit parade for Baltimore. Hernandez, who hit
a two-run shot, was the only Oriole with more than one RBI.
"One through nine, that's how you win ballgames. You don't win
a lot when only one or two guys are going off," said Aubrey Huff,
who went 1-for-4 with an RBI. "We've been scoring enough runs to
win, but tonight was one of those rare games when we could relax a
The matchup between teams located 35 miles apart drew the
biggest gathering at Nationals Park since the $611 million stadium
opened March 31. There were plenty of Orioles fans in attendance,
and they were the only ones who took delight in seeing Washington
let up nine straight runs before the rain arrived.
When play resumed, the stadium was less than half full.
Two of the top three crowds at the new stadium watched the
Nationals face Baltimore. On Friday night, 35,830 showed up -
second highest behind the 39,434 for the opener.
Garrett Olson (6-3) allowed one run, six hits and three walks in
five innings for the Orioles. He also drove in a run and got a bunt
single, the first hit in 17 at-bats this season by Baltimore
Manager Dave Trembley appreciated Olson's gritty performance on
the mound, but was reluctant to compliment the pitcher on his night
at the plate.
"I'd rather not talk about it because if I do, I'll never hear
the end of it," Trembley said.
Lance Cormier allowed one hit over the final four innings to
earn his first major league save.
Nationals center fielder Lastings Milledge hurt his right groin
while chasing a ball hit by Alex Cintron in the third inning and
was placed on the 15-day disabled list during the game. Earlier,
Milledge got his 32nd RBI and stole his 13th base.
"Tough one. The kid was leading our club in RBIs and he was
making so much progress in center field," manager Manny Acta said.
"He was looking so good and comfortable. ... It's been that kind
of year. We'll give another kid a chance."
The Nationals recalled outfielder Roger Bernadina from Double-A
Harrisburg to replace Milledge, who is expected to miss two to four
weeks. Bernadina is expected to join the team Sunday and will
start, Acta said.
Milledge's departure was only a portion of the anguish that
Washington experienced in the third inning. Cintron's RBI triple
tied it at 1, but John Lannan (4-9) appeared poised to avoid
further damage after getting two groundouts with the infield drawn
Lannan then induced Nick Markakis to hit a comebacker, but the
pitcher couldn't handle the ball and Cintron scored from third.
Melvin Mora then ended an 0-for-17 skid with an infield hit off
Lannan's glove, and Aubrey Huff followed with a run-scoring single.
"[Lannan] basically hurt himself a lot by not being able to
field his position," Acta said. "It's amazing how much Greg
Maddux and Jim Kaat and the [Tom] Glavines of the world help
themselves by playing defense."
Baltimore made it 5-1 in the fourth. Scott led off with his 13th
home run before Jones singled, stole second, went to third on a
passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Olson.
The Nationals got runners on second and third with two outs
before Elijah Dukes flied out. Washington stranded seven runners in
the first four innings while forcing Olson to throw 85 pitches.
"He made some big pitches when he had to," Trembley said. "I
give him a lot of credit. He pitches with a lot of
Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and Baltimore got
four hits in the sixth against Jesus Colome, including RBI singles
by Markakis and Mora.
Lannan gave up seven runs, four earned, and seven hits in five
innings. He is 0-5 in seven starts since beating Baltimore on the
road on May 18.
"I just kind of lost it. It just wasn't there today," he said.
"Just kind of move on - a bad outing."
The Nationals broke on top when leadoff hitter Cristian Guzman
doubled on Olson's fourth pitch and scored on a single by Milledge.
Baltimore has been outscored 58-34 in the first inning this season,
including 5-1 by Washington.
RHP Collin Balester's contract will be purchased from
Triple-A Columbus by Washington, and he will start Tuesday at
Florida. Balester is 9-3 with a 4.00 ERA in 15 starts. ... Jones is
7-for-8 in the series. ... In the series finale, Baltimore will
attempt to end a streak of 11 straight Sunday losses.