The Nationals got swept by the Orioles in their two-game Battle of the Beltway, not scoring a run across Wednesday and Thursday. MacKenzie Gore went a quality six innings, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out seven and walking four but was outmatched by Orioles starter Kyle Bradish.
Washington had more hits (6) than Baltimore (4), but walks played a key difference in the run production. The O’s loaded the bases in the top half of the third inning on two walks and a hit, and Gore walked Adley Rutschman to let through the opening run though got out of the inning thanks to a double play.
Baltimore then capitalized on another walk in the fourth Gore gave Anthony Santander a free pass to first on balls, before Adam Frazier belted a two-run shot to give the O’s a 3-0 lead in a two strike count. Credit to Gore for admitting after the game that he threw some non-competitive pitches that led to walks and also raised his pitch count.
“We finished strong, but I’ve got to clean it up a little bit. That’s a couple starts in a row where I’m putting us in a bad spot with these walks. Walks happen, that’s part of it. But these were non-competitive. I’m better than that.”— Gore in his postgame interview
Anthony Banda and Thad Ward notched back-to-back 1-2-3 innings out of the bullpen in the seventh and eighth, while Baltimore added an insurance (unearned) run off Hobie Harris in the ninth — with two outs Ramon Urias got aboard with a CJ Abrams throwing error, and Frazier followed it up with a walk before Urias was driven in by Henderson’s RBI single.
The no runs in the two-game set comes after Washington had a total of 14 runs across the three-game set over the weekend against the Guardians.
“We’re in a funk as a team. Just can’t drive in that run. We out-hit them today. We just can’t get that one big run across the board there.”— manager Dave Martinez said in his postgame presser
It was incredible that Rutschman struck out in his three official at-bats in the game and 0-7 in the series, and you would think from that the Nats dominated the series. Ryan Mountcastle, their other big bat, was quiet too with a 1-for-8 in the series.
The Nats now look ahead to their three-game weekend series in Minnesota that trails on off-day on Thursday. Here’s the matchups against the Twins.
Friday @ 8:10 p.m. ET: RHP Trevor Williams vs. RHP Tyler Mahle
Saturday @ 2:10 p.m. ET: RHP Chad Kuhl vs. RHP Pablo Lopez
Sunday @ 2:10 p.m. ET: LHP Patrick Corbin vs. TBD