BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles struck early against Washington Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin and got a home run from Rio Ruiz in a 7-3 victory Saturday night, capping another disappointing day for the defending World Series champions.
Light-hitting Andrew Velazquez had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run for the Orioles, who have won seven of eight — a streak that includes four victories against Washington. After losing more than 100 games in each of the past two seasons, Baltimore completed the first third of this abbreviated 60-game season with an impressive 12-8 record.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: 932 New Cases Reported, 11 More Deaths
The Nationals, on the other hand, are being pressed to come up with an encore to their first major league championship. Hours after placing ailing right-hander Stephen Strasburg (hand) on the 10-day injured list, Washington fell into last place in the NL East with a 7-11 record.
Corbin (2-1) went 14-7 last season and was being counted on to carry the load for a starting rotation that’s gone stretches this summer without Strasburg and ace Max Scherzer, who was bothered by a sore hamstring. Corbin beat the Mets twice this month but was roughed up by the Orioles, who built a 4-0 lead in the second inning and held on.
Corbin allowed five runs and eight hits with just two strikeouts in five innings. Last year he finished fourth in the NL with 238 strikeouts and had as few as two in only one start.
Juan Soto and Trea Turner homered for the Nationals, who closed to 5-3 in the sixth but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Coming off a 15-3 beatdown by Washington on Friday night, the Orioles bounced back immediately. Pedro Severino, formerly of the Nationals, hit a two-run double in the first inning and Velazquez tripled in a run in the second before scoring on a fly ball by Hanser Alberto.
It was the first career triple and first RBI for Velaquez, who came in batting .136.
Ruiz led off the fourth inning with his sixth homer after Soto hit a two-run drive in the top half.
Asher Wojciechowski (1-2) allowed three runs in five-plus innings and Cole Sulser got four outs for his fifth save.READ MORE: 'An Incredible Therapy' | Hagerstown Doctor Says Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Provides Fast Recoveries For Some COVID Patients
Nationals: Strasburg (hand) threw only 16 pitches Friday night in his second start of the season, and manager Dave Martinez saw no option but to shut down the 2019 World Series MVP. “I don’t think this is going to get better soon. We tried,” Martinez said. “So right now, we’re just going to try see if we can get him healthy.”
Orioles: CF Austin Hays was put on the 10-day IL with a non-displaced rib fracture, an injury that originated when he was hit by a pitch several days earlier. Manager Brandon Hyde expected Hays to miss the minimum 10 days. OF Cedric Mullins was called up from the team’s alternate training site. … RHP Jorge López was activated from the IL. He was obtained off waivers from KC on Aug. 9 and will be used initially as a long reliever.
Luis García was back in the Nationals starting lineup Saturday after playing second base and going 2 for 5 with an RBI in his first big league game Friday night.
The 20-year-old stepped in for Starlin Castro, who went on the IL with a broken wrist. Speaking through an interpreter, García said his major league debut was “a moment that I always dreamed of. After I got the (first) base hit, I relaxed even more than I was before that.”
Nationals: Scherzer (1-1, 2.75 ERA) starts in the series finale Sunday. He’s 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA and 50 strikeouts in his last five starts against Baltimore.
Orioles: LHP John Means (0-1, 7.71) makes his first start since Aug. 4 after spending time on the bereavement list and then undergoing mandatory coronavirus protocol.MORE NEWS: Rockville Police Officer, Maryland National Guardsman Daniel Morozewicz Arrested On Child Porn Charge
(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)