Washington Nationals: Offense Flat in Loss To Orioles

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Aug 22, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher A.J. Cole (22) pitches during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 22, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher A.J. Cole (22) pitches during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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A home run by Mark Trumbo in the fourth was the deciding factor as the Washington Nationals lost the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles.

With Stephen Strasburg scratched from his start, A.J. Cole gave up some early runs but still pitched seven quality innings to give a worn down Washington Nationals bullpen a breather. However, the Nats lineup couldn’t muster much offense and lost the series opener to the Baltimore Orioles, 4-3.

Daniel Murphy gave the Washington Nationals a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a RBI single that brought home Trea Turner. It was the 90th RBI of the season for Murphy.

Two innings later, the Orioles answered back when Jonathan Schoop crushed his 20th homer of the year to tie the score 1-1. That home run was the first hit of the night against Cole. In the top of the fourth, the Washington Nationals took the lead back when Anthony Rendon crushed his 16th home run of the season to put his club ahead 2-1.

However, the lead wouldn’t last long. In the bottom of the fourth, Chris Davis hit a double to score Manny Machado and a two-run home run by Mark Trumbo in the bottom of the fourth put the Orioles up 4-2. It was Trumbo’s 38th homer of the season, which leads the Majors in this category.

Dylan Bundy pitched well in tonight’s start for the O’s. He stymied the Nats for six innings while allowing two runs on three hits, issuing four free passes, striking out four batters and surrendering one home run on 94 pitches (58 strikes) for his seventh win of the year.

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Danny Espinosa took advantage of Bundy’s exit, as he hit a solo home run off Orioles’ reliever Mychal Givens in the top of the seventh to narrow the deficit to 4-3. It was the 19th home run of the season for Espinosa.

As for Cole, he had a good but not great outing. The right-hander tossed seven innings, yielded five hits, allowed four runs, walked two batters, fanned eight and gave up a pair of homers on 108 pitches (67 strikes). Cole lost for the first time in 2016.

Cole found his rhythm on the mound after the bomb Trumbo hit in the fourth frame as he retired 12 of the final 14 batters he faced. Koda Glover relieved Cole in the eighth inning and tossed a scoreless frame, including striking out Davis to end the inning.

Next: Nats-Orioles Series Preview (8/22-8/25)

Zach Britton slammed the door in the ninth inning, including getting Turner to strike out swinging as he converted his 38th save of the season in as many chances.

Next Game: In the second game of the Beltway Series, Reynaldo Lopez (2-1, 4.37 ERA) gets the call for the Washington Nationals (73-51), and Kevin Gausman (4-10, 4.11 ERA) is on the mound for the Baltimore Orioles (69-56). You can watch the game at 7:05 p.m. ET on MASN2 or MLB Network.

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