The Baltimore Orioles were reeling — especially on offense — as they arrived in Washington on Friday.
Baltimore’s bats started the season just fine, but the offense fell apart this week in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Miami Marlins at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The Orioles rebounded on Friday with 19 hits to open the series with the Nationals with an 11-0 victory. They’ll try to do more of the same when they meet the Nationals at 6:05 p.m. ET Saturday.
Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde has talked often since he took over last year about how his team doesn’t stay down in rough times. Baltimore suffered some tough losses in 2019 and fell into the aforementioned slump versus Miami, in which the Marlins held the Orioles to eight runs overall.
Friday’s win was just more evidence of the resilience that Hyde has seen in his team.
“There’s no surprising me about these guys,” Hyde said to the media. “I just think we had good at-bats up and down the order. Our offense did a great job for us.”
Starter Tommy Milone (1-1) threw six shutout innings to function as a kind of stopper that Baltimore needed. Milone started his career with the Nationals in 2011 and came back two years ago and enjoyed being there once more.
But what Milone really enjoyed has been the strong early-season play of shortstop Jose Iglesias. The free agent signee before this season went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and raised his batting average to .455 — all while battling a quad problem.
“It’s been incredible to watch him hit,” Milone told the media. “He works really hard on his hitting.”
The Orioles improved to 6-7 while Washington slipped to 4-6. Now, the World Series champs just can’t seem to find their way.
They’ve been inconsistent since day one and haven’t been able to put everything together. Trea Turner said that’s something Washington needs to do since in such a season shortened from 162 games to 60.
A slow start for the Nats could be tough since they’re missing some players. But Turner said they’ve got to do what they did last year.
“We’ve got to be ready each and every day,” Turner said to the media. “We have to win [the] ballgames in front of us.”
They’ll get some help Sunday when Stephen Strasburg, one of their top pitchers, will make his debut. A nerve issue in his right hand has sidelined him the first two weeks, according to MLB.com, but he’s ready to go.
Max Scherzer also told the site that he doesn’t expect to be out for long with a hamstring issue that caused him to leave against the New York Mets after just one inning a few days ago.
On Saturday, Baltimore right-hander Thomas Eshelman (0-0, 2.70 ERA) will make his first start this year. He’ll step in for John Means, who is on the bereavement list. Eshelman never has faced the Nationals.
Austin Voth (0-1, 3.60), also a right-hander, will start for Washington, his second start of the season. He has made one start against the Orioles in his career, going 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA. He beat them 8-1 on July 16, 2019, allowing one run on four hits and one walk in six innings. He struck out four.
–Field Level Media