Davis hits 30th, but small ball big in O's rout of Nats
By Ryan Baillargeon and Jamal Collier
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have relied on a simple formula for most of the season, trying to outslug their opponents. But they deviated from the norm Tuesday night, tallying their first seven runs without a homer in combination with six shutout innings from starter Kevin Gausman to beat the Nationals, 8-1.
Baltimore continues to get the best of Washington in the Battle of the Beltways, sweeping the two games at Camden Yards this season. Since 2012, the O's are 16-6 against the Nationals.
Entering Tuesday's contest, the O's had blasted 17 homers over their previous five games and a Major League-leading 194 on the year. But they used nine singles and three doubles to rack up the runs until Chris Davis' solo shot, his 30th homer of the year, in the eighth. Leadoff man Adam Jones led the attack, matching a career high with four singles.
"We've got a lot of professional hitters here who know how to hit with men in scoring position, not just homers," Jones said.
O's slugger Mark Trumbo, whose previous seven hits were home runs entering the night, broke the streak with a first-inning RBI single. He added another single in the third.
Gausman scattered six hits and two walks over six innings for his fifth straight win at Camden Yards. Nationals right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, meanwhile, lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits.
"He was facing some veteran hitters that can hit," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "He could have put them away. He'd get two strikes, but we knew they were a very good offensive team. He was facing some veteran hitters that knew what they were doing."
The Orioles weren't able to make up ground in the American League East despite the victory, as Boston and Toronto claimed victories. Baltimore sits two games back of both teams, while holding onto the second Wild Card. After starting their homestand 1-5, the O's managed to win the final two games.
"It's a really good team," O's manager Buck Showalter said. "They're one of the best teams in baseball and in that league, so it was tough. We caught a couple young pitchers, but we had a couple young pitchers, too, that did well."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Deja vu: Twice in the first three innings, Trea Turner thought he'd put himself in scoring position with his 15th stolen base of the season. Turner was initially ruled safe at second on steals in the first and third inning, but on both instances, a nice tag by Jonathan Schoop drifting toward right field resulted in a pair of overturned manager's challenges. With the two caught stealings, catcher Matt Wieters has thrown out 17-of-43 runners (40 percent).
"I just wish he would have made good throws right over the bag," Turner said. "I think I have a better chance that way. Throw gets taken up the line, you know he can put the tag on you a little bit faster, and that's what happened tonight."
Turner, who had a career-high four hits in the game, had been caught just once in 15 tries entering the night.
"You've got to tip your cap to Schoop and Wieters," Jones said. "Obviously Schoop on the back end of it with the tag. ... That guy, Trea Turner, he's a burner, an absolute burner, and to have him off the bases is a huge thing. Because any ball put in play that results in a hit, he's going to score because he's got speed."
Short outing for Lopez: Lopez was hoping to build off back-to-back strong outings against the Braves, but the Orioles' offense was less forgiving. He was removed with two outs in the third, making Tuesday night the shortest start of his career. In two starts against Atlanta, Lopez surrendered just two earned runs in 14 innings. However, in his three starts against the tougher competition (Dodgers, Giants and Orioles), he has yielded 13 runs in 11 1/3 innings.
"I don't feel like there's a lot of difference," Lopez said through an interpreter. "Just the results weren't what I expected. And the game didn't come out the way I would have liked it to."
Home cookin': Gausman is winless in 13 road starts this season, but he's looked like a different pitcher at Camden Yards. With his six scoreless innings Tuesday, he improved to 5-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 10 home starts. While the Nationals worked long at-bats against the righty, he managed to notch his fifth quality start in his past six home starts by getting through six innings on 110 pitches.
"I don't know if I just feel comfortable here," Gausman said. "I don't know if I know that the ballpark is a hitter-friendly park, so I know I've got to be more fine with my pitches. I don't know. I wish I knew that." More >
Innings eater: Washington's bullpen was tasked with picking up the slack after another short outing by a Nationals starter. Overall, the bullpen has tossed 34 innings in the past nine games. However, right-hander Matt Belisle limited the damage a bit by tossing three scoreless innings, his longest relief appearance since August 2011.
"Man, that was a lifesaver," Baker said. "He said he wanted to give us some more, but he was throwing the ball good. He was throwing the ball great, actually. You need that kind of performance, an extended performance. He realized our bullpen was in bad shape and just trying to get back together. That was a gutsy performance. That's something that we all appreciated."
In addition to the two challenges the Orioles won on Turner's attempted steals, Showalter won another challenge in the bottom of the third. Jones was initially ruled out at first on a grounder, but after a review, the call was overturned. Baltimore finished 3-for-3 on challenges, becoming the third team in the Majors to win three challenges in a game this season.
"We needed each one of them," Showalter said. "It kept any momentum from getting going. That's a really good offensive team over there. Lance [Barksdale] is a really good umpire."
WHAT'S NEXT Nationals: The Nats have perhaps the perfect starter on the mound to help give their taxed bullpen a rest. Right-hander Tanner Roark (13-6, 2.87) will start Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET at Nationals Park against the Orioles. Roark has lasted at least seven innings in 15 of his 25 starts this season, he ranks 10th in the Majors in innings pitched.
Orioles: In his fifth start since being acquired, lefty Wade Miley (7-10, 5.58 ERA) will try to notch his first win in a Baltimore uniform. Miley, who is 0-2 with a 9.53 ERA as an Oriole, allowed six runs in 1 2/3 innings his last time out against Houston.