Heading into Monday’s makeup of a July 8th rainout game, the 2014 Battle of the Beltways Series was on the line. However, the Nationals were unable to hold off a late Baltimore rally and the Orioles won the Battle of the Beltways three games to one.
Entering the top of the seventh inning, the Nationals led by a score of 3-2. With Tanner Roark still on the mound, Ryan Flahrety drove a ball over Denard Span’s head in right center for a game tying RBI double. The next batter was Delmon Young who, pinch hitting for pitcher Kevin Gausman, drove a ball into the outfield for a base hit and an Oriole lead. The Orioles would score three more to take a commanding 7-3 lead that would hold up as the final score.
For the Nationals, Wilson Ramos got the offense going early. In the bottom of the second inning, the Washington backstop got a mid-90’s fastball from Gausman and drove it over the right center fence for a majestic opposite field solo homer. After the Orioles tied the game in the third on a solo blast by their own catcher, Caleb Joseph, the Nationals scrapped back for two more runs, one on a sac fly by Jayson Werth in the third, and another on a double play ball of the bat of Ramos.
Roark had entered the seventh inning with six innings of solid two run ball, however, he allowed three runs in the seventh to earn the L. With the loss, he dropped to 11-7 on the year, albeit with a sparkling 2.94 ERA. Craig Stammen allowed two more runs in the eighth inning. While he had started the year strong with a 2.52 ERA, he has allowed 14 earned runs over his last 16 innings, raising his ERA to a pedestrian 4.07.
Despite the loss, the Nationals’ lead in the NL East is still a moderately comfortable three games.