Baltimore (41-38) at Washington (32-49)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Sat Jun 28, 2008
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Among the NL leaders with eight losses, John Lannan would appear to be having a disappointing season.

His Washington Nationals’ teammates, however, have as much to do with that lack of success as he does.

Lannan looks to win for the first time in over a month Saturday night when the Nationals continue a three-game interleague series with their geographic rivals, the Baltimore Orioles.

Few pitchers have more reason to be frustrated with their teammates than Lannan (4-8, 3.34 ERA), who is winless in his last six starts despite compiling a 2.70 ERA. The second-year left-hander has four losses during that span while allowing two runs in each of his last five outings.

Washington (32-49) has supported him with four total runs in those six starts.

“I don’t feel bad for him,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “He knows that everybody here is paying attention of how good he’s pitching and how he’s doing. Would I want him to have six, seven more wins than he has? Yes, I do.”

Lannan was solid again Sunday, allowing four hits in six innings before leaving without a decision in the Nationals’ 5-3 loss to Texas.

In his only appearance against the Orioles (40-38) on May 18, Lannan limited them to one run and four hits over 7 1-3 innings in a 2-1 victory at Camden Yards.

He will try to help the Nationals win three straight for the second time this month after they won Friday’s series opener 4-2 in front of 35,380 enthusiastic fans—the largest crowd at Nationals Park since opening night.

“It was nice to see it,” Acta said. “I got to give it to our fans. They knew what they were getting into - and the (rebuilding) plan that we’re into - and we’re still averaging 30,000 people at night. There are teams in the major leagues in first, second place drawing 20,000 or 15,000. I could tell right after batting practice it was going to be a great crowd because of the Orioles fans here, too.”

Pinch-hitter Kory Casto doubled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh and scored on a single by Elijah Dukes as Washington won back-to-back home games for the first time since May 3-4.

Adam Jones went 3-for-3 with a walk for the Orioles, who dropped to 3-4 on a nine-game trip and fell to 10-6 in interleague play.

Brian Roberts led off the ninth with a double against Jon Rauch and Nick Markakis walked, but struggling Melvin Mora hit into a double play and Kevin Millar flied out.

“Mora hits a ball on the button right at the shortstop. We had something going there and that’s kind of like a buzz kill,” Millar said. “Rauch did his job.”

Mora is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, dropping his average to .230.

Roberts, meanwhile, is batting .383 (23-for-60) with a homer and 14 runs scored during a 14-game hitting streak.

Baltimore’s Garrett Olson (5-3, 5.01) hopes to win for the first time in four starts. Since winning five of his first six decisions, the left-hander is 0-2 with an 8.40 ERA in his last three outings.

Olson gave up four runs and four hits, including two homers, over five innings Sunday in a 7-3 loss at Milwaukee.

Olson yielded three runs and nine hits through five innings in a 5-3 victory over the Nationals on May 16—his only appearance against them.

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Starting Pitchers

G. Olson Oak vs. J. Lannan Col
9-10 Record 9-15
6.65 ERA 3.91
83 K 117
62 BB 72
1.73 WHIP 1.34


Saturday, Jun 28