May 27, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jason Hammel (39) throws during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
After cruising through a potent Baltimore offense through three innings, Gio Gonzalez ran into trouble in the fourth and fifth and the Nats dropped the opener 6-2. Rising superstar Manny Machadohad three hits for Baltimore, which improved to 28-23 and caused the Nats to drop to a game above .500 at 26-25.
Through the first three frames, Gio was masterful. He gave up only one hit and looked like he was headed to his sixth straight quality start. However, Baltimore got to him in the fourth inning on RBI singles from Yamaico Navarro and Nick Markakis to go up 3-1. In the fifth inning Adam Jones doubled, went to third on a Chris Davis bloop single and scored on a Matt Wieters sacrifice fly. Gio finished with five and two-thirds innings, walking four and striking out three while giving up four runs.
On the rubber for the O’s, Jason Hammel was in control the whole game . While Hammel struggled in April and early May, there was no struggling Monday against the Nats, as he showed the ace level stuff that caused him to start game one of the ALDS last fall. Hammel worked around a 2nd inning Tyler Moore RBI double and a sixth inning RBI hit by Ryan ZImmerman to pitch eight innings with eight strikeouts. Hammel was pitching to a Bryce Harper-less Nationals lineup, as Harper was scratched with left knee problems prior to first pitch.
Two young prospects will oppose each other Tuesday night in DC as the Nats look to even the series up. 2012 first rounder Kevin Gausman will make his second start for the Orioles while Nathan Karns will be called up from AA to make his debut in place of the injured Ross Detweiler. First pitch is at 7:05