Orioles split short series with Nats

Timothy Earl May 14, 2024 Comments Off on Orioles split short series with Nats

The Baltimore Orioles split a two game short series with their crosstown rival the Washington Nationals before a mixed crowd of 34,078 Orioles and Nationals fans at Nationals Park.

Washington won the first game 3-0 giving them a record of (18-17) their first above .500 record since July 2021.

The Orioles, in perhaps their most exciting game of this early season, won a 12th-inning thriller, 7-6.

Leading 3-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Orioles (24-12) had future Hall of Famer closer Craig Kimbrel on the mound ready to earn his ninth save of the year. Not so fast. He recorded the first two outs but things got sideways on him after that. National’s Eddie Rosario homered and later in the inning CJ Abrams singled to drive in another run and the Nationals tied the game 3-3.

Kimbrel has been struggling to close out games but manager Brandon Hyde said they are going to stick with him and get him right.

No one scored in the 10th inning so on to the 11th inning. With Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson on base Ryan Mountcastle swung at the first pitch from his best friend and Nationals reliever Hunter Harvey and knocked it over the left centerfield fence for a 386-foot two-run homer to give Baltimore a 5-3 lead.

The Oriole faithful were cheering hard in front of the Nationals home fans as their win probability shot up to 79.8% but their celebration was short-lived.

The Never-Say-Die Nationals just needed a double and a sacrifice fly to tie the game again at 5-5 going into the 12th inning.

They came back from two down in the ninth and then two down in the 11th. Impressive.

But in the 12th inning their luck ran out. With the automatic runner on second base, Orioles Jorge Mateo, the fastest man on their team, singled on a grounder to left field scoring Jordan Westburg and making the score 6-5.

Mateo, running to second as the throw came home advanced to third when the National’s third baseman threw the ball into the outfield.

A wild pitch brought the winning run home giving the Birds a 7-5 lead.

The Nationals got one back on a double in the bottom of the 12th, but Jacob Webb, the seventh Oriole’s relief pitcher, got a strikeout and two flyouts to finally end the game with an Orioles hard fought victory.