WASHINGTON (AP)—Years from now, when he shows his grandchildren the baseball that represents his first major league hit, Danys Baez(notes) will probably talk about how he deftly ran around the bases and scored the winning run.
The veteran reliever might conveniently choose to omit details of the hit— a squibber that rolled around 30 feet down the third-base line while he frantically sprinted toward first base.
“I got lucky. I made the right contact and the ball went to the right place,” said Baez, who had not batted since 2003.
“I guess I obviously could have gotten ahead of Roberts, or thrown a better breaking ball to Jones,” Wells said. “Neither of those things happened.”
A better job against Baez would have helped, too.
“It was just a pitcher hack. It wasn’t anything other than (that),” Wells said. “The first pitch he kind of bailed out, the next one he chopped it into the ground.”
Said Baez: “Everything happened at the right time. It was perfect for us today.”
“I thought the infield hit by Baez kind of loosened the club up,” manager Dave Trembley said, “and then once Roberts got the hit, you kind of felt like things were going in your favor.”
Washington managed only four hits—one after the fourth inning—and fell to 0-6 in extra innings. The Nationals have been outscored 14-0 after the ninth inning this season.
“Most of it comes from the struggles we had in the back end of our bullpen. That’s why if the game goes to extra innings, we struggle there,” Washington manager Manny Acta said.
“We just couldn’t get anything going offensively, and it cost us,” Acta said.
Nationals rookie Jordan Zimmermann(notes) gave up two runs, six hits and a walk over seven innings in his seventh start. The right-hander struck out seven in the longest appearance of his brief career.
Zimmermann yielded 21 runs and 28 hits in his previous four starts.
Baltimore added a run in the third when Roberts hit a two-out double and Jones followed with an RBI single.
The Orioles released RHP Adam Eaton(notes) to make room for Albers. … Zimmerman has reached base safely in 40 straight games, six short of the franchise record held by Rusty Staub (1969-70). … Baltimore improved to 91-121 in interleague play. … Nationals reliever Ron Villone(notes) blanked Baltimore in the eighth inning, his 10th straight scoreless appearance. … For only the second time in 13 games, Washington was held below five runs.