BALTIMORE — The Washington Nationals walked Chris Davis to bring up another Baltimore Orioles slugger, Mark Trumbo, with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 12th inning.
Trumbo delivered a walk-off single on the next pitch as the Orioles rallied for their sixth consecutive win, a 5-4 decision over the Nationals on Tuesday night.
Trumbo, who led the major leagues with 47 home runs last year, did not get upset by the move.
“That’s just part of the game,” Trumbo said. “It’s happened before. You just do what you can. You get a chance to win the game, who doesn’t want to be there.”
Adam Jones started the winning rally with a one-out single off right-hander Jacob Turner (1-1). Manny Machado followed with a soft single to center that sent Jones to third.
Following the walk to Davis, Trumbo came through with his second walk-off hit this season and the seventh of his career. The Orioles (22-10) improved to 5-1 in extra-inning games and 8-1 in one-run contests.
Baltimore now owns the best record in baseball, something manager Buck Showalter did not seem to be aware of after the game.
“Really?” Showalter said. “(There’s a) lot of baseball to be played. So far, so good. We’ve played a tough part of the schedule, not that any part is easy up here.”
Logan Verrett (2-0) earned the victory with three innings of scoreless relief. He allowed no runs on two hits for his second win in extra innings — the only two games Verrett has pitched with the Orioles this season.
“My first two outings with the Orioles, that’s how I dreamt it would go,” he said jokingly. “I was just trying to keep us in that ballgame.”
Baltimore nearly won it an inning earlier when J.J. Hardy doubled with two outs, but he got thrown out at the plate by right fielder Bryce Harper after a Caleb Joseph single.
“That’s what stars do,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said of Harper. “He had a good jump, he had a good ball to throw with and he threw it on the money. (Catcher Matt) Wieters executed perfectly. That’s how you draw it up.”
The Orioles forced extra innings with a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth against Enny Romero that tied the game 4-4. He allowed a walk, later balked and gave up an RBI double to Jonathan Schoop.
Hardy followed with the game-tying single. The last two hits came with two outs as Romero blew the save opportunity.
Washington (21-12) had taken a 4-1 lead in the eighth when Adam Lind hit a pinch-hit, three-run homer off Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez.
Lind now has three pinch-hit homers this season and eight in his career.
Jimenez lasted 7 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on five hits but could not quite match Washington starter Max Scherzer. The Nationals right-hander allowed two runs on four hits in eight innings. He struck out 11, tying a season high.
The Nationals took an early lead on a Daniel Murphy solo homer in the second inning, and the Orioles did not even get a hit off Scherzer until Seth Smith tied the game with his solo blast in the sixth.
Jones cut the lead to 4-2 with a homer in the eighth, which set up the dramatics of the ninth and 12th innings.
Home plate umpire Laz Diaz tossed Murphy before the 10th, apparently due to what the second baseman termed a “disagreement” over some calls during the game.
Still, no matter what happened, Washington could not hold a late three-run lead, but it gets to see Baltimore two more times in the next two days — at Nationals Park — and hopes to do better.
“It’s a ballgame we would have liked to have won although we didn’t,” Murphy said. “We’ll head back home and see if we can get back on track.”