Washington starter Livan Hernandez is confident he’ll get his season turned around. The way the Nationals have been playing lately, they’re hoping it happens soon.
Hernandez looks to help the Nationals avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season when they wrap up their three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Sunday.
Hernandez (5-8, 5.64 ERA) lost his third straight start Tuesday, allowing six runs and eight hits in just 1 2-3 innings of an 11-3 defeat to Boston. He has given up 15 runs in 15 1-3 innings during his slide, which came after a four-start winning streak.
“I’m worried about him,” manager Frank Robinson said. “This is the way he has been except for two or three starts this year and he has just not been consistent enough.”
Tuesday’s outing matched the shortest of Hernandez’s career. He gave up seven runs in 1 2-3 innings of a 14-4 loss at Colorado on July 3, 2002 while still with San Francisco.
“They beat me bad,” Hernandez said. “People have to understand that I can’t be great every year. Boston is a great team and everybody knows that. My ERA is a little tough, but there is a lot of baseball left to be played.”
Hernandez is 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in three starts against the Orioles. He gave up one run in seven innings of a 3-1 win over Baltimore on May 21.
“I’m not the kind of guy that believes the season will be bad,” he said. “There’s a lot of baseball. I know I will be better than this.”
The Nationals (32-44) dropped their fifth straight Saturday, 3-2 to the Orioles. Washington has lost five in a row four times this season, including a six-game slide from April 9-14.
Jose Vidro had two hits and scored a run for the Nationals, who went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position after going 0-for-8 in Friday’s 2-1 defeat. Washington, which managed one hit after the third inning, has not scored more than three runs in any of its last six games.
“We’re just not clicking right now,” Robinson said. “We’re not clicking on any cylinders, and I really don’t know why.”
Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez homered and singled in the winning run in the ninth in a game that was prolonged by two rain delays totaling nearly three hours.
“Everybody was tired and stiff,” Hernandez said. “I know one thing: I didn’t want to go back to catch. I got lucky, I hit it where nobody was playing.”
Javy Lopez got three hits for Baltimore (35-41), including the 1,500th of his career.
Daniel Cabrera (4-4, 4.64) will start the series finale for the Nationals. He lost his second straight start Tuesday, allowing six runs and eight hits— including a career-high three homers—in a 6-2 defeat to Florida.
Cabrera, who had given up just two homers in his first 11 starts, has allowed nine runs in 11 2-3 innings during the back-to-back losses after throwing 11 scoreless innings in consecutive victories.
“He ran into a fastball-hitting club. He got behind enough times so they could sit on it a little bit better,” manager Sam Perlozzo said after Tuesday’s defeat. “He didn’t have his breaking ball tonight, and he really needed it.”
Cabrera is making his first start against the Nationals franchise.