Tuesday, July 08, 2014
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Orioles erupt for six runs in 11th to defeat Nationals

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[July 08, 2014]  WASHINGTON -- Chris Davis had watched his average dip below .200 and he struck out for the 97th time this season when he fanned in the ninth inning of a tie game.

But with one big swing of the bat, the Baltimore first baseman opened the floodgates for the Orioles. His two-run homer broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the 11th and teammates J.J. Hardy and Manny Machado, who had a career-high five hits, followed with homers as the Orioles beat the Washington Nationals 8-2 in 11 innings Monday.

"I have to keep a good mindset. All you can (do) is work hard and trust the results," said Davis, who entered the game with an average of .201 but was hitless in four at-bats before he went deep. "I have been doing everything I can to get here early and hit off the tee."

Davis was hitless in his last 12 at-bats before the home run against Craig Stammen (0-4).

"I am really happy for Chris. He has been beating himself up pretty good," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Davis' struggles at the plate. "Tonight he had a big blow for us. I think he had some good at-bats leading up to that (homer). You pull so hard for him. And Manny had a big night."

Baltimore starting pitcher Chris Tillman was not involved in the decision but allowed just two runs in seven innings. He helped to save the Orioles bullpen, which took part in a doubleheader on Saturday and a 12-inning win on Sunday in a series in Boston.



"It was awesome. He works his butt off. He has been struggling. He came up with a big hit. He has been grinding away and he put a good swing on a good pitch," Tillman said of Davis.

Hardy followed with his third homer of the year, off an 0-2 pitch from Stammen, to give the Orioles a 5-2 lead. Right fielder Nick Markakis added an RBI double, his third hit from the eighth inning on, to make it 6-2 and chase Stammen.

"I just think he made some really close pitches on Davis, got to 3-2 and had to throw a strike, and he took advantage of it. And then the ball to Hardy, just a breaking ball that stayed up a little bit," Washington manager Matt Williams said of Stammen.

Aaron Barrett came out of the bullpen and gave up a two-run homer Machado. Baltimore is now 8-3 in extra-inning games. Washington fell to 2-8 in extra-inning contests.

"You have specialty pitchers at the back of bullpens," Williams said of the extra-inning woes. "With the exception of our last inning, you could arguably say the same thing with our guys who came in for three. They're just specialty pitchers so you can match up. I'm not concerned about that. We had (an) opportunity to get it done in the ninth and it didn't happen for us. Got to be prepared for tomorrow."

The Orioles (49-40) won for the eighth time in 11 games, while the Nationals (48-40) lost for just the second time in nine games before 35,126 fans, many of them wearing the orange and black of the Orioles.

"If it was a weekend series, it'd probably be even bigger. Of course, people have to work. But it's great. It's a nice rivalry," Williams said.

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Washington second baseman Anthony Rendon (two hits), one of the five finalists for the last spot on the National League All-Star team, smashed a two-run homer in the sixth against Tillman to tie the score at 2.

Tillman was not involved in the decision. He yielded two runs and five hits in seven innings. Reliever T.J. McFarland (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win.

Washington starter Stephen Strasburg, who also did not figure in the decision, gave up two runs and four hits with nine strikeouts in seven innings.

Baltimore left fielder Nelson Cruz had three hits, including a two-run homer in the fourth. Cruz took over the major league lead with his 28th homer of the season.

Washington catcher Wilson Ramos finished with two hits, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.

NOTES: Washington OF Jayson Werth was named National League Player of the Week after making a minor adjustment in his stance about a week ago. He hit .450 in 20 at-bats with five doubles, two homers and nine RBIs. ... Orioles OF Adam Jones and DH/1B Steve Pearce were named co-American League Players of the Week. Jones hit .423 with two homers in 26 at-bats while Pearce hit .333 with three homers. ... The scheduled starters for Tuesday are Baltimore RHP Bud Norris (7-5, 3.62 ERA) and Washington RHP Doug Fister (7-2, 2.93). ... Orioles RHP Kevin Gausman was sent to Triple-A Norfolk after he started at Boston on Sunday against the Red Sox. The Orioles called up RHP Julio DePaula, 31, who had a 0.00 ERA in three games for Double-A Bowie. ... Washington first-year manager Matt Williams played for Baltimore manager Buck Showalter for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998-2000. "He was the most prepared manager I ever played for," Williams said Monday. Said Showalter: "He has a great sense of humor. I am excited for him. He has done it the right way."

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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