Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Bullpen Costs O’s in Loss to Nationals

June 22, 2018 - 9:53 am

By Joe Schiller

The Baltimore Orioles put themselves in perfect position to steal two games on the road against their rivals down the I-95 beltway. But bullpen blunders on the backend were the difference as they lost 4-2 to the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.

With Kevin Gausman on the mound searching for his first win in six starts, he got early run support from an unexpected source. Veteran Colby Rasmus announced his return from the disabled list right away. The 31-year old smacked a solo shot off Max Scherzer in the first inning to open up the score sheet for both sides.

It’s exactly the start the Orioles were hoping for against the three-time Cy Young winner.

Aside from a shaky third inning, Gausman was relatively sharp in six innings. He allowed just four hits and two earned runs, setting up the team in sight of victory. Mark Trumbo homered for the second straight night, this time giving the Orioles a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning.

The game of solo home runs continued in the sixth inning and Anthony Rendon brought the Nationals back at 2-2. But it was Juan Soto, that proved to be the kryptonite for the Orioles. The 19-year old continued his impressive start in the majors and smacked a two-run double in the eighth inning off Mychal Givens that proved to be the difference.

The bullpen struggles continued and after going an unheralded 8-1 with a 2.75 ERA in 2017, Givens has been a completely different pitcher one season later, posting a 0-4 record and a 4.19 ERA.

The Orioles continue their road trip and head to Atlanta for a three-game interleague series against the Braves.