O's keep WC in sight with sweep of Nats

O's keep WC in sight with sweep of Nats

WASHINGTON -- Any lingering tension between the Orioles and Nationals didn't materialize Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park. However, the Orioles showed that they are the Kings of the Beltways as they edged the Nationals, 5-4. Baltimore swept the three-game series and won the season series by winning four out of six games.

The Orioles remain alive in the American League Wild Card race. They are 3 1/2 games behind the Astros for the second spot. The Nationals sit 7 1/2 games behind the Mets in the National League East race, and the number for the Nats to be eliminated from the playoff picture is three.

"It's not great. It's not where we want to be, but tomorrow is a game and we have to play that game and we have to win that game," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "So it is what it is. We need to be prepared for tomorrow."

The Nationals had a 4-3 lead entering the eighth inning when right-hander Blake Treinen allowed a two-run homer to Matt Wieters to make it a one-run game in favor of Baltimore.

"You punch back. Our guys have been punching back," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "They're refusing to give in, still trying to get to our goal that we started in Sarasota a long time ago."

The Nationals tried to battle back in the eighth inning against right-hander Brad Brach. Washington had runners on first and second with one out, but Brach struck out Wilson Ramos and Tyler Moore to end the threat.

Darren O'Day blanked the Nationals in the ninth inning and picked up his sixth save of the season and his third of the series.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Way gone from Wieters:
With nobody out and Steve Pearce on first base, Wieters demolished a 1-1 sinker from Treinen in the eighth inning, sending it a projected 445 feet away from home plate, per Statcast™, and reclaiming the Orioles' lead. It was the second straight night the O's used a late-inning blast to overtake the Nationals.

Wieters' go-ahead homer

"I might've got jammed a little bit," Wieters said. "No, I felt good. Put a good swing on the ball and I was actually short to the ball, so it was good."

Trienen had problems with left-handed hitters this year. Entering Thursday's action, they are hitting .327 against him. So it didn't come as a surprise that Wieters was able to hit the long ball.

"He had issues with the left-handed hitters for much of the season," Williams said. "It's a good fastball. It's upper 90s fastball, but it's up and in the middle of the plate. Wieters put a good swing on it."

Two in the fifth, seventh: The Nationals made it a 3-2 game by scoring two in the fifth inning. Ramos scored the first run on a sacrifice fly by Anthony Rendon, while Trea Turner scored on a single by Yunel Escobar. In the seventh inning, the Nationals took the lead, when Ramos hit a home run and Matt den Dekker scored on a double by Escobar.

Escobar's RBI double

Wilson wiggles out of fifth: Oriols starter Tyler Wilson allowed at least one baserunner every inning until the sixth, but his fourth start was strong, nonetheless. The most important outs he recorded came in the fifth against Bryce Harper when the Nationals had already plated two in the frame. With one out, Wilson got the slugger to ground into a 1-6-3, inning-ending double play. He finished with two earned runs through six innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

"That was a pretty defining moment given fifth inning, dead middle of the game," Wilson said. "Couple leadoff hits there that ended up both scoring, but that's a matter of minimizing the damage right there. They even had a third hit in the inning. So, obviously with their best hitter at the plate, to get a big double-play ball like that was a game changer."

Wilson's solid outing

REPLAY REVIEW
In the bottom of the seventh, Rendon tried to score on Escobar's double after den Dekker touched home, but Rendon was tagged out. Williams challenged the call and it was confirmed after a replay review, so the Nationals lost their challenge.

Statcast: Orioles' relay throws

QUOTABLE
"This team, we're built to win close games. Obviously, we're missing a big weapon in [closer Zach Britton] for a couple days, but it's next man up. You've got to do your job. Look at what Brad's doing, look at what Mychal [Givens] did. The guys who got in there today. Guys like to be in these situations and they're cherishing the opportunities." -- O'Day More >

"Every day in Spring Training, every day throughout the season is devoted to getting better to be able to help this team at this time of the year. Obviously, given the playoff-push situation late in the year and given the circumstances of the game today with an opportunity to sweep a great ballclub, I'm really thankful for the opportunity." -- Wilson

WHAT'S NEXT
Orioles: The Orioles will begin a three-game set in Boston on Friday, the team's final 2015 regular-season series away from Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.26) will get the ball in the series opener at 7:10 p.m. ET. Gausman faced the Red Sox on Sept. 14 at home and tossed six shutout innings.

Nationals: The Nationals begin a three-game series against the Phillies starting Friday night at 7:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will pitch the first game of the series. In his last outing vs. the Marlins, Zimmermann got off to a slow start because he had problems with his fastball command. The veteran righty had to rely on his breaking stuff, as he threw over 30 sliders and several curveballs.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All theTime. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.