BALTIMORE (CBSDC/AP) — Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to interrupt Baltimore’s agonizing offensive struggle, and the Orioles rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 2-1 Sunday in a duel between neighboring rivals.
Baltimore appeared headed for its third shutout loss in six games before Adam Jones led off the eighth with a single off Sean Burnett (0-1) and Wieters drove an 0-1 pitch over the center-field wall.
Prior to the home run, the Orioles had wasted several scoring opportunities and stranded eight runners over seven innings. Baltimore scored only five runs in the series and went 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position, yet still managed to win two of three.
The Orioles finished 11-7 in interleague play and won five of six series.
Pedro Strop (4-2) got the final out in the eighth for Baltimore and Jim Johnson worked the ninth for his 22nd save. The game ended when Johnson struck out Danny Espinosa and Wieters threw out Ian Desmond attempting to steal second.
Ryan Zimmerman had the lone RBI for the Nationals, who scored five runs in the series. Washington was 34-2 when leading after seven innings.
Making his first start for the Nationals since May 25, Ross Detwiler allowed four hits and walked two in five scoreless innings. In his previous start against Baltimore on May 19, the left-hander gave up six runs. But that was at a point in the season when the Orioles scored 32 runs over a six-game span.
Jake Arrieta gave up one run and five hits in six innings, and it still took an unlikely comeback by the Orioles for him to avoid becoming the first 10-game loser in the big leagues this season.
Zimmerman snapped a 5-for-49 slump and gave Washington a 1-0 third-inning lead with a two-out single that scored Jhonatan Solano.
Detwiler retired the first seven batters he faced and was cruising until the fourth, when Baltimore loaded the bases with two outs. Ronny Paulino hit a harmless fly ball to end the threat.
In the Orioles fifth, two singles and a groundout put runners on second and third with two outs for Jones, who hit a fly ball to deep left.
Bryce Harper led off the Washington sixth by turning a bouncer up the middle into a dash-for-second double, but Arrieta worked out of trouble by getting Desmond to hit a two-out popup.
Baltimore’s frustration continued in the seventh, when J.J. Hardy grounded out with runners on second and third and two outs.
Listen here to what Davey Johnson, Sean Burnett, Ross Detwiler, Ryan Zimmerman & Ian Desmond had to say following the loss.
Davey Johnson Postgame Audio
Sean Burnett Postgame Audio
Ross Detwiler Postgame Audio
Ryan Zimmerman Postgame Audio
Ian Desmond Postgame Audio
NOTES: After taking Monday off, the Orioles open a two-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday. LHP Dana Eveland likely will begin paternity leave on that day, and it’s possible that RHP Matt Lindstrom (finger) will be activated from the disabled list to fill out the Baltimore roster. … On Monday night in Colorado, Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg vies to become the first player in Nationals history to win seven consecutive starts. … Nationals closer Drew Storen, who had elbow surgery in April, said he expects to throw batting practice Monday and hopes to make his season debut next weekend in Atlanta. “Just a matter of getting that last 10 percent,” the right-hander said. … Held out of the starting lineup in part because of an 0-for-28 slump, Baltimore’s Chris Davis flied out as a pinch hitter. … The Orioles have gone 17 straight games without a stolen base, their longest such streak since a 20-game run in June 1962.