Orioles next to try to stop Nationals' surge
(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
The Baltimore Orioles have won four of their past six games, finally getting some good starting pitching. But life is going to get tougher on Tuesday when they start a two-game series at the Washington Nationals.
Washington has been one of the hottest teams in baseball over recent weeks.
The Nationals, who stumbled to a 19-31 start, have gone 54-26 since then, which is the best 80-game stretch in club history, according to MLB.com.
Washington is coming off a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field last weekend that gave the Nationals a four-game lead for the top spot in the wild-card race.
The Nationals, who have won five in a row, closed that series by doing what they've done a bunch of times -- blowing a late lead before bouncing back to win. Washington failed to hold a late lead Sunday against the Cubs but pushed across a run in the top of the 11th thanks to a wild pitch, and then Anthony Rendon lined an RBI single that helped lock up a 7-5 victory.
"Resilient," manager Dave Martinez said of his team on MLB.com. "They're very resilient. I'm telling you. I've said this all along. They're not going to quit. That's who they are."
Patrick Corbin (10-5, 3.17 ERA) will start for Washington in the opener. The left-hander has won at least 10 games in each of the past three seasons, although this is his first with the Nationals.
He's 0-0 with a 4.00 ERA in two career games against Baltimore.
Right-hander Aaron Brooks (3-7, 6.21) is coming off his first win as an Oriole in his last start. Brooks, who was claimed by Baltimore on July 6 after he was waived by the Oakland A's, has no record and a 3.38 ERA in one game against Washington.
The Orioles took two out of three from Kansas City and split a four-game series with Tampa Bay in their most recent homestand. On Saturday, John Means threw seven solid innings before Dylan Bundy went five on Sunday, and the bullpen took care of the rest both days.
Means' situation is up in the air as the Orioles placed him on the family medical emergency list Sunday and brought up right-hander Tayler Scott to pitch in the bullpen. The Orioles said Sunday they do not yet know if Means can make his next start, set for Friday in Kansas City.
Hanser Alberto left Sunday's win over the Rays due to a head contusion and a cervical neck strain after a collision at second base. Manager Brandon Hyde said there were no signs of a concussion.
Renato Nunez felt some tightness in his left hamstring in the seventh, and Chris Davis batted for him an inning later.
The Orioles have scored 15 runs in their past two games. Jonathan Villar homered in each of the past three games and became the sixth Oriole to have 20 homers and 20 steals in one season.
"He's just a really good player, and he has a ton of tools and can do a ton of things," Hyde told MLB.com after Sunday's game. "His second half has been fantastic."
--Field Level Media
Updated August 27, 2019