Baltimore at Washington

W: J. Rauch (1-1) L: R. Lopez (1-7)
HR: BAL - None   WAS - A. Soriano (15)

Nationals 8, Orioles 3

CBS wire reports

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman thinks the key to a Washington Nationals turnaround lies in being aggressive and riding Alfonso Soriano's offensive surge.

Soriano homered for the third straight game and drove in three runs to lead Washington over the Baltimore Orioles 8-3 Saturday night.

"We played aggressive tonight," Zimmerman said. "If we can just keep doing that, and make them make mistakes instead of just sitting back and waiting for something to happen, I think we'll turn this around."

Soriano's sudden penchant for all-or-nothing offense is a step in the right direction. He's homered in five of seven games, and seven of his last 13 hits have been home runs.

"You've seen his numbers over the past four or five years -- I think everyone expects him to do it," Zimmerman said. "He's a great player and he makes our lineup better."

Nationals manager Frank Robinson would like more offense up and down the lineup, but he isn't going to ask Soriano to change his approach.

"I don't think he ever backs off," Robinson said. "If you make a mistake that he can catch up to, he has the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark."

Zimmerman scored the tiebreaking run during Washington's four-run sixth inning on an errant pickoff throw by catcher Ramon Hernandez, helping the Nationals to their fourth win in 15 games at RFK Stadium.

With the game tied at three, the Nationals rallied against Rodrigo Lopez (1-7). Zimmerman singled with one out and went to third on Alex Escobar's hit-and-run single to left.

Lopez's first pitch to pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson was a ball, and Hernandez threw wildly to third trying to get Zimmerman. The ball sailed into left field, allowing Zimmerman to score and Escobar to move to second.

"It shouldn't rattle the club, we should still go about our business the way we're supposed to," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. "Ramon, he just tries to be a little too quick, I think, with his throws."

Anderson followed with a run-scoring single to make it 5-3 and Julio Manon relieved Lopez. Manon walked Wiki Gonzalez and hit pinch-hitter Damian Jackson with a pitch to load the bases, then walked Soriano on a 3-2 pitch to force in a run.

Kurt Birkins replaced Manon and gave up a sacrifice fly to Jose Vidro, making it 7-3.

Jon Rauch (1-1) worked a scoreless sixth for the win.

Lopez, whose only victory came on opening day, failed to win for the ninth straight start. He allowed six runs and eight hits, walked one and struck out one.

With right-hander Daniel Cabrera (shoulder tightness) already on the disabled list, Perlozzo doesn't relish the thought of possibly pulling Lopez out of the rotation.

"We're still looking for another starter as it is, so I don't know how we're going to replace two," Perlozzo said. "He's going to have to just keep working at it. Hopefully he'll get better for us."

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the second when Zimmerman led off with a double, moved to third on Escobar's groundout and scored on Gonzalez's sacrifice fly.

Baltimore scored twice in the third inning. After walks to Brandon Fahey and Miguel Tejada, Jay Gibbons hit a run-scoring single to center with one out. Both runners advanced on Escobar's wild throw home for an error, and Tejada scored on Hernandez's bouncer to shortstop.

Kevin Millar's bloop single to right-center scored Tejada, who had drawn a leadoff walk, for a 3-1 lead in the fifth.

Soriano's two-run homer in the fifth tied the game. With two outs, pinch-hitter Robert Fick singled and Soriano hit Lopez's 0-1 pitch over the left-field wall for his 15th homer.

Nationals starter Tony Armas went five innings, giving up three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits. He walked a season-high five and struck out one.


Escobar made his Nationals debut after being recalled from Double-A Harrisburg on Friday night. OF Ryan Church was optioned to Harrisburg. ... Baltimore OF Corey Patterson had two infield hits, including his sixth bunt single of the season. ... Washington has homered in five straight home games.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

A. Soriano
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 1

C. Patterson
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

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Baltimore Orioles
Brandon Fahey, 2B4100120 .254
Melvin Mora, 3B4010003 .297
Miguel Tejada, SS3210202 .353
Jay Gibbons, RF5021002 .274
Ramon Hernandez, C4001001 .306
Kevin Millar, 1B4011001 .225
Corey Patterson, CF4030000 .280
Nick Markakis, LF2000211 .217
Rodrigo Lopez, P2000022 .000
    Julio Manon, P0000000 .000
    Kurt Birkins, P0000000 .000
    Chris Britton, P0000000 .000
   a- Luis Matos, PH1000000 .120
    Sendy Rleal, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Britton in the 8th
2B - Miguel Tejada (7, Armas)
SH - Rodrigo Lopez (1)
RBI - Jay Gibbons (27), Ramon Hernandez (28), Kevin Millar (15)
SB - Corey Patterson 2 (13, 2nd base off Armas/Gonzalez, 2nd base off Armas/Gonzalez)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Mora-Fahey-Millar
E - Ramon Hernandez (7, errant throw)
Baltimore Orioles
Rodrigo Lopez (L,1-7) 5.1866111 8.07
Julio Manon0011200 3.38
Kurt Birkins 0.2000000 1.04
Chris Britton 1100110 3.52
Sendy Rleal 1111300 4.05
HBP - Jackson (by Julio Manon)
Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 83-55, Julio Manon 15-5, Kurt Birkins 5-3, Chris Britton 19-10, Sendy Rleal 23-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 5-10, Chris Britton 1-1, Sendy Rleal 2-0
Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 25, Julio Manon 3, Kurt Birkins 2, Chris Britton 5, Sendy Rleal 6
Washington Nationals
Alfonso Soriano, LF3213200 .277
Jose Vidro, 2B4031000 .342
Nick Johnson, 1B4000104 .293
Daryle Ward, RF3000001 .219
   a- Marlon Byrd, PH-RF1001110 .237
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4220101 .267
Alex Escobar, CF4120001 .500
Royce Clayton, SS1000100 .237
   b- Marlon Anderson, PH1111000 .214
    Gary Majewski, P0000001 .000
    Chad Cordero, P0000000 .000
Wiki Gonzalez, C2101102 .240
Tony J. Armas, P1000011 .063
   c- Robert Fick, PH1110000 .333
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
   d- Damian Jackson, PH-SS1000000 .235
a-struck out for Ward in the 7th
b-singled for Clayton in the 6th
c-singled for Armas in the 5th
d-hit by pitch for Rauch in the 6th
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (8, Lopez)
HR - Alfonso Soriano (15, Lopez)
SF - Jose Vidro (3), Wiki Gonzalez (1)
SH - Gary Majewski (1)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 3 (30), Jose Vidro (18), Marlon Byrd (6), Marlon Anderson (3), Wiki Gonzalez (1)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (12)
Team LOB - 9
DP - Vidro-Clayton-N. Johnson
E - Alex Escobar (1, throwing error)
Washington Nationals
Tony J. Armas 5732510 3.08
Jon Rauch (W,1-1) 1100020 1.75
Gary Majewski 2000010 3.12
Chad Cordero 1000010 4.12
IBB - Markakis by Tony J. Armas
HBP - Mora (by Chad Cordero)
WP - Tony J. Armas (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Tony J. Armas 105-59, Jon Rauch 17-15, Gary Majewski 18-14, Chad Cordero 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tony J. Armas 7-6, Jon Rauch 1-0, Gary Majewski 3-2, Chad Cordero 2-0
Batters Faced - Tony J. Armas 26, Jon Rauch 4, Gary Majewski 6, Chad Cordero 4
Game Information
Attendance - 32502
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Larry Poncino