Posted May 28, 2013 on AP on Fox
Adam LaRoche homered twice and drove in four runs, and the Washington Nationals enjoyed a rare offensive outburst at the expense of the Baltimore Orioles in a 9-3 victory 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 win over Miami on April 15. The Nationals hadn't scored more than seven runs in 29 games since April 25. Chris Davis hit his major-league leading 17th homer 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. 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. 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. Zach Duke (1-1) followed Karns with 1 2-3 innings of perfect relief. 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. Opponents are batting .385 against him. Washington pulled away with a four-run fourth. LaRoche drew a leadoff walk, Moore hit his second homer in 81 at-bats this season, and Bernadina followed with his first long ball since Sept. 28. With two outs, Denard Span added an RBI double to make it 7-3. The start of the game - and Karns' big league debut - was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 21 minutes. With his fastball hitting 97 mph, Karns promptly retired the side in order on three groundouts. 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. Coming in, the Orioles had outscored the opposition 43-19 in the first inning. 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. NOTES: The Nationals played a second straight game without OF Bryce Harper (knee), and manager Davey 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 takes 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.
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