WASHINGTON (AP) — There once was a time this season when the Washington Nationals could not have withstood an 18-hit onslaught by the opposition.
Jerry Hairston went 3 for 3, and the Nationals beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-4 Friday night to extend their winning streak to seven games despite giving up a season-high 18 hits.
Roger Bernadina homered and Ian Desmond had two hits and two RBIs for the Nationals, whose seven-game run is their longest since the final week of the 2009 season.
Starter Jason Marquis made it through 5 1-3 innings, allowing four runs and 12 hits — the most yielded by a Washington pitcher this season.
“This game we had no chance earlier in the year,” manager Jim Riggleman said. “Marquis did a great job to limit the runs scored because they had a lot of hits. He got ground balls. But the four runs they scored would have been too much earlier because we were scoring one, two or none and we knew we were better than that.”
After scoring 25 runs in a three-game sweep of St. Louis, the Nationals got eight runs on 10 hits against Baltimore.
“This team has been playing some good baseball here of late, solid baseball,” Marquis said. “Catching the ball, throwing the ball, timely hitting. It makes it fun. It’s contagious.”
Derrek Lee went 5 for 5, and Adam Jones and Nick Markakis had four hits apiece for the Orioles. But Baltimore stranded 12 and went 4 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
“You’d expect more runs out of that many hits,” Lee said. “We didn’t get them at the right time.”
Matt Wieters flied out in the first inning with two on, grounded out in the third with a runner in scoring position, hit into a double play with two on in the fifth and bounced into a fielder’s choice with the bases full in the sixth.
“It’s disappointing. I left a small army out there on the bases tonight,” he said.
The game, dubbed the Battle of the Beltways, attracted a crowd of 35,562. The Nationals entered the weekend averaging 21,735 per contest.
Washington went up 7-4 with a three-run sixth. Wilson Ramos drew a leadoff walk from Jeremy Accardo (3-3) and Hairston followed with an RBI double. Accardo then walked pitcher Sean Burnett (3-3) on four pitches, and Jayson Werth singled in a run before Desmond hit a sacrifice fly.
That was enough to dispatch the Orioles, who got at least one hit in every inning.
“Usually when you get 18 hits, you probably get 10 to 12 runs,” Jones said. “We’ll come out tomorrow swinging the bats and let’s get 18 more. But 18 with 10 runs.”
Bernadina homered off Mike Gonzalez in the eighth, his third of the season but second in two games.
Baltimore starter Zach Britton allowed four runs, one earned, and five hits in five innings. The most notable facet of his performance came at the plate, where he got his first major league hit — an RBI double in the fourth.
Limited to one hit through four innings, Washington batted around in the fifth and took a 4-2 lead. Wilson Ramos singled and took third on a single by Hairston before Marquis bunted in an effort to get Hairston to second. Third baseman Mark Reynolds threw wildly to first, allowing a run to score.
Bernadina followed with a run-scoring grounder and Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman added RBI singles. Three of the four runs were unearned, courtesy of Reynolds’ 15th error, most among major league third basemen.
Baltimore tied it in the sixth. Pinch-hitter Vladimir Guerrero hit an RBI single and J.J. Hardy added a sacrifice fly, but the uprising ended when Wieters was retired with the bases full.
The Orioles got two runners on base in each of the first two innings but failed to score, and Jones was stranded after hitting a two-out double in the third.
Baltimore finally broke through in the fourth. Lee doubled with one out and was waved home on a two-out single to left by Robert Andino. The throw from Hairston beat the runner to the plate, but Ramos attempted to apply the tag before controlling the ball — and did neither.
Lee scored, and Britton followed with an opposite-field liner to left for a 2-0 lead.
Baltimore again wasted a couple of hits in the fifth. After five innings, the Orioles had two runs on 10 hits, stranded seven and were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)