Orioles 3, Nationals 2, 11 innings
WASHINGTON (AP)—Jay Payton has struggled in recent games, but he came up with a key hit at the right time Saturday night.
Payton was 3-for-16 in the first seven games of the Orioles’ road trip. But he doubled twice and went 2-for-5 with the two RBI and a run scored in this victory.
“I’m trying not to change anything.” Payton said. “The hardest thing to do is not to go up and feel like you’ve got to do more. I’m just trying to put good swings on the ball. Tonight I was able to find paydirt a couple times and get us a win.”
The Orioles have won two straight games after losing five in a row. Manager Sam Perlozzo hopes the one-run victories in the first two games of the Washington series will spark his team.
“We’re trying to get something going,” Perlozzo said. “You hope that a couple of wins like that can start a streak.”
The Nationals have lost two straight games, and this one was frustrating because they clung to a 1-0 lead from the second until the eighth inning.
The Orioles battled back to score all three runs against a tough Washington bullpen.
“Those guys have been outstanding, but leadoff walks will kill you,” said Washington manager Manny Acta, pointing out that the Orioles tied and won game after leadoff walks. “Last night it was the same story.”
The Orioles trailed most of the game before tying it in the eighth on pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff’s sacrifice fly to center.
Ramon Hernandez started the winning rally in the 11th with a walk off former Orioles right-hander Winston Abreu (0-1). Pinch-runner Freddie Bynum came on for Hernandez with one out and stole second despite a pitchout with Melvin Mora batting. Mora then blooped a single to left that moved Bynum to third.
Payton lined a double into the left-field corner on the next pitch to score both Bynum and Mora for the 3-1 lead.
The Orioles had to hold on in the bottom of the 11th when closer Chris Ray walked Austin Kearns with two outs. Kearns went to second a fielder’s indifference and scored on Tony Batista’s RBI single. Ray then retired Brian Schneider on a grounder to first for his 10th save.
John Parrish (2-0) got the win with 1 1-3 innings of relief.
Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie had his second straight hard-luck effort. He allowed one run and four hits in seven innings, but ended up with a no-decision. He struck out 10 and retired 15 in a row during one stretch.
Guthrie also gave up just one run on three hits in 8 1-3 innings last Sunday against Boston, but the Orioles bullpen couldn’t hold a five-run lead as the Red Sox rallied for a 6-5 victory.
“I’m just trying to go out there and pitch well,” Guthrie said. “I feel good about what I’m doing.”
Guthrie also has made a good impression on Perlozzo.
“He just goes after it,” Perlozzo said. “He knows what he’s doing. He’s pitching out there.”
Washington starter Mike Bacsik also had a tough no-decision despite allowing no runs and five hits in six innings. The 29-year old right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Saturday to fill in for Jason Bergmann, who the Nationals placed on the disabled list earlier in the week.
But the Orioles couldn’t convert on several scoring chances against Bacsik. They had one hit in each of the first five innings, but left runners in scoring position in the second and fourth.
Washington took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Nook Logan lined a two-out double to score Ryan Church, who singled earlier. Guthrie then retired the next 15 batters, and the Orioles tied it against Jon Rauch in the eighth inning.
Rauch intentionally walked Hernandez to load the bases, and Huff followed with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Roberts with the tying run.
Church and Ryan Zimmerman are the only two Nationals who’ve played in all 43 games. … Bacsik’s father, Mike Bacsik Sr., pitched in the majors for five seasons with Texas and Minnesota. … The Orioles have a losing record in eight of the 10 seasons of interleague play. … Markakis has 12 hits on this road trip.