BALTIMORE (AP) — After watching starter Erick Fedde dominate the Baltimore Orioles for six innings, the last thing Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez wanted to do was turn to his ineffective bullpen to finish the game.
Unfortunately, Martinez had no choice. And, not surprisingly, a one-run lead turned into a rare lopsided loss for the hottest team in the big leagues.
Trey Mancini hit two home runs , and Baltimore pummeled four Washington relievers in a 9-2 victory Wednesday night that provided the Orioles with a split of the two-game interleague series.
Washington was riding a 31-12 streak before losing for only the fourth time in 17 games. The loss kept them 6 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Atlanta Braves, who host the Nationals in a four-game series beginning Thursday night.
Recalled from Double-A Harrisburg to face the team with the worst record in the majors, Fedde allowed one run and five hits before being pulled with a 2-1 lead.
“That’s the first time he’s pitched in 14 days. That was good enough,” Martinez said.” He did well. He got us through the sixth inning.”
The Orioles promptly turned it around against a Washington bullpen that entered with a 5.86 ERA and 18 blown saves.
Wander Suero (2-5) faced five batters and retired only one of them. Anthony Santander and Chris Davis hit RBI singles, and Rio Ruiz delivered a sacrifice fly off Tony Sipp before Javy Guerra finally quelled the uprising.
But Mancini connected off Guerra in a five-run eighth. Mancini also homered in the fourth, breaking a run of 15 games without a long ball.
“You would love to get in the (opposing) bullpen every single night,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We haven’t done that a ton. It was nice to play some really good baseball the last couple innings.”
Fedde hasn’t gone more than six innings this season, and Martinez wasn’t about to break that trend with a pitcher who last started on July 2 for Triple-A Fresno.
“I was feeling good,” Fedde said. “They told me it was more of a safety thing, which I can always respect. I think I could have gone more, but I have to respect the decision.”
Adam Eaton drove in both runs for the Nationals, who absorbed their worst blowout defeat since June 15 (10-3 against Arizona).
Gabriel Ynoa (1-6) pitched 4 1/3 innings of two-hit relief for Baltimore to earn his first win since Sept. 21, 2017.
Mychal Givens shut down a two-on, two-out situation in the eighth and stayed on for his eighth save.
The start of the game was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 32 minutes.
A MINOR NO-NO
Pitching for the Orioles’ Double-A affiliate, Michael Baumann threw a no-hitter for the Bowie Baysox against Washington’s affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators, on Tuesday night.
The right-hander struck out 10 and walked two in a 6-0 victory.
Baumann was selected out of Jacksonville University in the third round of the 2017 draft.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and former Maryland defensive back Darnell Savage, the first-round pick of the Packers, both threw ceremonial first pitches. Jackson lobbed a strike , and Savage bounced one in front of the plate.
Orioles 2B Hanser Alberto left the team to be with his wife, who gave birth to the couple’s second child Wednesday. He was not placed on paternity leave, and Hyde expected Alberto to return on Friday
Nationals: Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (back strain) threw in the outfield for a second straight day and could come off the injured list Sunday for a start in Atlanta, depending on how he feels over the next couple of days.
Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (knee) threw a side session Wednesday, and is on course to come off the IL next week. … RHP Nate Karns (forearm strain) pitched two innings for Bowie on Wednesday. … OF Dwight Smith Jr., who’s stuck in an 0-for-30 skid, got the day off in part to deal with “aches and pains,” Hyde said.
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg (11-4, 3.46 ERA) starts for Washington against the Braves on Thursday night.
Orioles: After taking Thursday off, Baltimore and All-Star pitcher John Means (7-5, 2.94) take on the visiting Boston Red Sox in the opener of a three-game set.
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