Baltimore at Washington

W: Z. Duke (1-1) L: K. Gausman (0-2)
HR: BAL - C. Davis (17),J. Hardy (10)   WAS - A. LaRoche (9),T. Moore (2),R. Bernadina (1),A. LaRoche (10)

Nationals 9, Orioles 3 wire reports

WASHINGTON -- Davey Johnson isn't shaving his scruffy beard, even after the Washington Nationals finally put on the offensive show he was longing to see.

Adam LaRoche hit two home runs and the Nationals barreled past the Baltimore Orioles 9-3 on Tuesday night.

LaRoche, Tyler Moore and Roger Bernadina connected off Orioles rookie Kevin Gausman (0-2). LaRoche added a solo shot in the eighth off Troy Patton.

It added up to Washington's highest-scoring performance since a 10-3 victory against Miami on April 15. The Nationals hadn't scored more than seven runs in 29 games since April 25.

The 70-year-old Johnson began growing the beard last week and said he wouldn't shave until the Nationals broke out of their hitting slump. Now it appears he won't shave for fear of jinxing a team on a roll.

"It was great," Johnson said of the hitting attack. "Some guys that usually take two or three strikes went up there and hit line drives."

And then, fondling his gray beard, he added, "Maybe this is working."

Addressing the suddenly hot topic of Johnson's beard, Moore said, "It looks pretty bad, doesn't it? I hope he looks like Santa at the end of the year if we keep winning."

Washington built a 7-3 lead in the fourth inning for right-hander Nathan Karns in his major league debut. But Karns couldn't make it out of the fifth.

Karns gave up three runs, five hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. He was alternatingly sharp and shaky, but decent enough to earn another chance.

"Nathan Karns did good, so he's going to come back and pitch Sunday," Johnson said. "I thought he handled himself well. Good start against a good hitting ball club. I know he was nervous but I like the way he went after the hitters."

Selected in the 12th round of the 2009 draft, Karns never before pitched above the Double-A level. The 25-year-old was 4-2 with a 4.60 ERA this season in nine starts for Harrisburg of the Eastern League.

The start of the game -- and Karns' big league debut -- was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 21 minutes. He didn't care.

"The rain delay didn't bother me at all," the rookie said. "Now the first one is out of the way I can just build off of that."

Zach Duke (1-1) followed Karns with 1 2/3 innings of perfect relief.

Chris Davis hit his major-league leading 17th home run for the Orioles, and J.J. Hardy also went deep. But Baltimore's franchise-record run of scoring at least five runs in 10 straight road games ended.

After allowing four runs in five innings against Toronto last Thursday in his major league debut, the 22-year-old Gausman digressed in his second appearance. The right-hander gave up seven runs and eight hits in four innings with one walk and no strikeouts.

Gausman, the No. 4 pick in the 2012 draft, is toting an unsightly 11.00 ERA and opponents are batting .385 against him.

"Pitching in the big leagues is hard. He's got the talent to do it and eventually he will," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I look forward to it being next time out. He knows mistakes get magnified here. But it's part of the process."

Washington pulled away with a four-run fourth. LaRoche drew a leadoff walk, Moore hit his second home run in 81 at-bats this season, and Bernadina followed with his first long ball since Sept. 28.

"After Bernadina and Moore went deep you want me to shave? I can't shave right now," Johnson said with a grin.

With two outs, Denard Span added an RBI double to make it 7-3.

Early on, with his fastball hitting 97 mph, Karns retired the side in order in the first inning on three groundouts.

"I just wanted to get out there and throw strikes, work with getting the hitters out, and it worked out to my advantage," Karns said.

Gausman, in contrast, struggled at the outset. After Span hit a scorching grounder that was gloved by Davis at first base and turned into an out, Steve Lombardozzi and Ryan Zimmerman both singled before LaRoche drove a 2-0 pitch into the center-field seats.

Baltimore closed to 3-1 in the second on an RBI double by Matt Wieters. But with one out and runners on the corners, Karns struck out Yamaico Navarro and Gausman.

In the fourth, Davis lined a 1-2 pitch into the Washington bullpen beyond the right-field wall. Two batters later, Hardy homered to left into the Orioles' bullpen to knot the score at 3.


The Nationals played a second straight game without OF Bryce Harper (knee), and Johnson acknowledged, "I probably was being optimistic thinking he could DH over in Baltimore (on Wednesday and Thursday). It's probably not looking good for that." ... Washington 2B Danny Espinosa, who has been sidelined since May 22 with a fractured bone in his right wrist, hopes to return Wednesday. "The strength is fine. It's just the stiffness," Espinosa said. ... The Nationals have homered in 73 straight series,, the longest active streak in the majors. ... Chris Tillman will take the mound for the Orioles on Wednesday night at Camden Yards against Washington's Jordan Zimmermann, who is seeking his ninth victory. ... Baltimore's Nick Markakis had his 12-game hitting streak snapped.

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. LaRoche
AB 3
R 3
H 2
HR 2

J. Hardy
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

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Baltimore Orioles
Nate McLouth, LF3010100 .290
Manny Machado, 3B3010100 .335
Nick Markakis, RF4000003 .300
Adam Jones, CF4000002 .318
Chris Davis, 1B4221002 .344
Matt Wieters, C4011000 .244
J.J. Hardy, SS4131010 .250
Yamaico Navarro, 2B3000013 .286
    Troy Patton, P0000000 .000
   a- Danny Valencia, PH1000000 .227
Kevin Gausman, P1000012 .000
   b- Steve Pearce, PH1000010 .224
    T.J. McFarland, P0000000 .000
   c- Alexi Casilla, PH-2B1000010 .183
a-grounded out for Patton in the 9th
b-struck out for Gausman in the 5th
c-struck out for McFarland in the 7th
2B - Matt Wieters (13, Karns)
HR - Chris Davis (17, Karns), J.J. Hardy (10, Karns)
RBI - Chris Davis (47), Matt Wieters (31), J.J. Hardy (32)
2-OUT RBI - J.J. Hardy (10)
SB - Nate McLouth (16, 2nd base off Karns/Suzuki)
Team LOB - 5
DP - Machado-Hardy-Navarro, Hardy-Casilla-Davis
Baltimore Orioles
Kevin Gausman (L,0-2) 4877103 11.00
T.J. McFarland 2100000 2.92
Troy Patton 2422011 5.16
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Gausman 67-47, T.J. McFarland 27-15, Troy Patton 32-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Gausman 8-3, T.J. McFarland 4-2, Troy Patton 3-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Gausman 20, T.J. McFarland 7, Troy Patton 9
Washington Nationals
Denard Span, CF4011000 .272
Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B4110011 .234
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4120000 .285
Adam LaRoche, 1B3324101 .243
Ian Desmond, SS4110002 .259
Tyler Moore, LF4112002 .157
Roger Bernadina, RF4122000 .143
Kurt Suzuki, C4130000 .256
Nathan Karns, P1000001 .000
    Zach Duke, P00000001.000
   a- Jeff Kobernus, PH1000000 .000
    Drew Storen, P0000000 .000
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
   b- Jhonatan Solano, PH1000001 .143
    Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Duke in the 6th
b-grounded into a double play for Clippard in the 8th
2B - Denard Span (9, Gausman), Ian Desmond (15, Patton)
HR - Adam LaRoche 2 (10, Gausman, Patton), Tyler Moore (2, Gausman), Roger Bernadina (1, Gausman)
SH - Nathan Karns (1)
RBI - Denard Span (14), Adam LaRoche 4 (27), Tyler Moore 2 (12), Roger Bernadina 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Denard Span (9)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Desmond-LaRoche, Zimmerman-Lombardozzi-LaRoche
Washington Nationals
Nathan Karns 4.1533232 6.23
Zach Duke (W,1-1) 1.2000000 8.10
Drew Storen 1100010 4.71
Tyler Clippard 1200000 2.14
Fernando Abad 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Nathan Karns 85-50, Zach Duke 8-7, Drew Storen 10-8, Tyler Clippard 22-18, Fernando Abad 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nathan Karns 6-4, Zach Duke 2-2, Drew Storen 1-0, Fernando Abad 1-1
Batters Faced - Nathan Karns 20, Zach Duke 4, Drew Storen 3, Tyler Clippard 5, Fernando Abad 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35664
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi