Orioles rally to beat Nationals 6-5

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BALTIMORE (AP)—One good comeback deserves another.

Adam Jones(notes) homered, Matt Wieters(notes) had three hits and two RBIs, and the Baltimore Orioles rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 6-5 Saturday to clinch their first series win in 14 tries.

Baltimore scored the game’s last six runs after falling behind 5-0 in the fourth inning. Less than 24 hours earlier, the Orioles made up a six-run deficit to win.

“I think it’s huge,” Wieters said. “No matter what we get down by, we’re going to be able to swing and get our way back into it. I think it’s a big boost.”

Interim manager Juan Samuel said, “We’re definitely going to enjoy this. That’s a good sign for me. The players are not quitting.”

It’s been an incredibly difficult season for the Orioles, who opened 2-16 and still own the worst record in the major leagues. But for the first time in weeks, they have cause for optimism.

Baltimore has won three straight, its longest winning streak since May 12-14. By taking the first two games of this three-game set, the Orioles snapped a string of 11 straight series losses and ended an 0-12-1 skid that began after they took two of three from Seattle on May 11-13.

“I think we can even play better baseball,” Jones said. “We will take it right now, (but) we’ve got to continue to improve as a team.”

With the score 5-all in the seventh, Luke Scott(notes) reached on a fielder’s choice and took third on Wieters’ two-out single off Sean Burnett(notes) (0-4). Drew Storen(notes) came in to face pinch-hitter Ty Wigginton(notes) and uncorked a wild pitch that enabled Scott to score from third standing up.

“I was just trying to go down and away,” Storen said. “That’s my job, to make that big pitch in that tough spot and today I didn’t do it.”

Jason Berken(notes) (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings and Alfredo Simon(notes) worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save.

Adam Dunn(notes) had two RBIs for the Nationals, who managed only one hit over the final four innings. The loss dropped Washington to a season-worst nine games under .500 (33-42).

“You jump all over a team 6-0 and 5-0, these are games you expect to win and we’re not doing that,” Dunn said. “If we’re not hitting it seems like we’re pitching great and if we’re hitting we aren’t pitching. I don’t really have an answer.”

Before the game, the Orioles marked the anniversary of their 1970 World Series victory by bringing back several players from that team, along with manager Earl Weaver. To continue the theme, the Orioles wore 1970 throwback uniforms—complete with orange stirrups—and Washington wore gray uniforms with the word “Senators” across the front.

The game turned out to be reminiscent of that era, when the woeful Senators rarely fared well against Baltimore.

“I’m agonizing over it. I know the players are,” Washington manager Jim Riggleman said. “But it’s baseball. It tests your character. We’re losing way more than our share and we’ve got to get out of this as soon as possible.”

Recalled from Triple-A Norfolk before the game, Orioles starter Brad Bergesen(notes) allowed five runs and six hits in four innings. He also walked two and hit a batter.

“I felt like I had a pretty decent sinker,” Bergesen said. “Really, I felt like maybe I threw two or three bad pitches today and I paid for all of them.”

Livan Hernandez(notes) gave up five runs and 11 hits in six innings, only the second time in 15 starts that he surrendered more than four runs.

The Nationals batted around in a four-run third inning. Dunn doubled in two runs, Ivan Rodriguez(notes) hit a run-scoring grounder and Roger Bernadina(notes) tacked on an RBI single.

A sacrifice fly by Cristian Guzman(notes) made it 5-0 in the fourth. In the bottom half, Jones hit his 12th homer and third in four days.

“We were down early, and everyone was like, we have a chance,” Jones said. “We can hit. We can.”

Baltimore pulled even with a four-run fifth that began with four straight hits: A single by Cesar Izturis(notes), a double by Corey Patterson(notes), and RBI singles by Miguel Tejada(notes) and Nick Markakis(notes). Wieters capped the rally with a two-run, two-out single.

NOTES: Dunn has 10 doubles, eight homers and 26 RBIs in his past 29 games. … Washington has lost four straight on the road when Hernandez starts. … After getting only one RBI over a 23-game stretch, Tejada has six in his past three games.

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