Photo By Cheryl Nichols, Nationals News Network
The Nationals (22-22) allowed their opposition to hit the second inside the park homerun in the past four days today in game two of this Orioles series and still came away with a 7-6 victory. Today’s win brings Washington’s record back to .500 and places them in a tie for third place with the Florida Marlins in the National League East.
A stand-out moment came when Nyjer Morgan had a little temper-tantrum in center field during the fourth. Morgan allowed Ty Wigginton to hit the inside the park two-run homer, forcing Josh Willingham to pick up the ball and complete the play after Morgan had already thrown his glove to the ground.
After the game, Manager Jim Riggleman said Morgan approached him when the inning was over and said, “I thought the ball went over the fence.” Either way, the ball going over the fence is no excuse for making a scene in front of 30,290 people in the middle of a routine play.
When asked why he refrained from taking Morgan out, Riggelman responded that keeping him in was a necessary move for both the clubhouse and the roster, especially since Pudge left the game in the fourth with a lower back strain.
As for the game’s right-handed starter Craig Stammen, his performance was nothing notable. Stammen served up two runs to the O’s in the top of the first and again in the fourth. “I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Craig yet this year,” Riggleman said when comparing this year’s Stammen performances to his outings last season.
The Nationals did have quite a jolt from the plate, a welcomed change from last night’s lack of serious hits. Washington had 15 hits, three of which were off the bat of short stop Christian Guzman who posted his team-leading 15th mult-hit game of the season after going 3-for-4 on the day.
Willingham also went long in the third for the Nationals sending his seventh homer run of the season to the stands off of O’s RHP Brad Bergesen.
Matt Capps reached his sweet sixteen in saves on the season after Tyler Clippard (7-3, 2.15) retired the side in the eighth.
Tomorrow’s series finale will be a fight for the series win now that Baltimore and Washington are tied at one game a piece. It all starts at 1:35.
Reminder: It’s not too late to bring a can of food to benefit the Nationals fifth annual Food Drive for the Capital Area Food Bank. Fans can donate items at the Center Field gate from the time the gates open until the fourth inning.