Nationals 7, Orioles 4

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BALTIMORE (AP)—After Daniel Cabrera experienced difficulty in getting the third out during a frustrating performance, Chad Cordero needed only seven pitches to record the game’s final two outs and earn a milestone save.

The Washington Nationals hit three home runs off Cabrera, and Cordero notched his 100th career save in a 7-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.

Ryan Church hit a solo shot, and Ryan Zimmerman and Brian Schneider both connected with a man on for the Nationals. Felipe Lopez ended an 0-for-19 skid with a two-run double and received three of the 10 walks allowed by Baltimore pitchers.

Cabrera (5-7) gave up seven runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings, matching his shortest appearance of the season. Three of his four walks turned into runs, and the right-hander permitted six runs after getting two outs.

“I don’t try to be too fine. I throw a close pitch, I don’t get (the call), that’s when I walk the guys,” he said. “The home runs come after that.”

Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo lamented, “He couldn’t finish an inning off.”

Cordero showed how to do it in the ninth. After Miguel Tejada led off against Jesus Colome with his seventh homer, Aubrey Huff hit a single and Jay Payton grounded out before Melvin Mora walked.

Cordero entered and induced pinch-hitter Paul Bako to hit into a double play for his ninth save. The 25-year-old is the second-youngest player in baseball history to get 100 saves, behind only Francisco Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Angels.

Cordero is the sixth player in franchise history to reach the century mark, making Montreal-Washington the first major league club to have that many pitchers with 100 career saves since the statistic was first recognized in 1969.

Nationals starter Micah Bowie (3-2) allowed three runs and three hits in six innings. Since leaving the bullpen to replace injured Jerome Williams in the starting rotation, Bowie is 3-0 in five starts, and the Nationals are 5-0 in those games.

“To go from being a short reliever to being a starter and to be effective at this level, well, it’s something,” Bowie said. “If I can keep us in the game and we can keep getting wins, I’m doing my job.”

Mora hit a three-run homer for the Orioles, who have lost eight of 10. Baltimore managed only three hits until the ninth inning.

Cabrera had surrendered eight home runs in 84 1-3 innings before yielding three to the Nationals, tying a career high. In two career games against Washington, the right-hander is 0-2 with a 9.75 ERA.

“He had three innings where he had two outs and nobody on and he gave up six runs,” Perlozzo said. “When you have two outs and nobody on, you still have to attack the hitter.”

Church put the Nationals up 1-0 in the second with his seventh homer, a drive that landed in the front rows of the left-field seats.

Asked where the ball would have landed in cavernous RFK Stadium, Church replied, “behind the shortstop.”

In the bottom half, Mora connected after singles by Huff and Payton.

Washington tied it in the third. Cabrera retired the first two batters before Lopez drew a walk and Zimmerman homered on a 2-1 pitch.

In the fourth, Cabrera again got two outs before running into trouble. Ryan Langerhans singled and Cristian Guzman walked before Lopez lined a two-run double to left.

“We’re always pushing these guys on the bench to get a two-out rally together because we weren’t able to do it earlier in the year,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “Tonight we got some runs, and a lot of them with two outs. Two-out hits and two-out runs paid off for us.”

The pattern continued in the fifth. Cabrera retired two batters, then walked Church on four pitches. After Orioles pitching coach Leo Mazzone came to the mound in an effort to calm down Cabrera, Schneider hit the next pitch into the bleacher seats in right.

That was the last of Cabrera’s 108 pitches, 49 of which missed the strike zone.


Guzman was 24-for-48 over an 11-game stretch before going 0-for-4 with a walk. … Baltimore fell six games under .500 (29-35), matching a season high. … With a win in one of the next two games, the Nationals will win a fourth straight road series in a season for the first time since 2001, when the franchise was in Montreal.

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