Davis, Orioles conclude set with Nationals

(Sports Network) - Baltimore's Chris Davis tries to continue his offensive onslaught on Thursday when the Orioles close the four-game home-and-home Beltway Series versus the Washington Nationals at Camden Yards.

On Wednesday, Davis finished a perfect 4-for-4 with two homers and three RBI to offset Ryan Zimmerman's first career three-home run game, as the Orioles utilized a six-run seventh inning to outlast the Nats, 9-6.

Nick Markakis added a solo homer and two RBI and Steve Pearce contributed a two-run shot as part of the game-changing seventh inning for the Orioles.

Davis leads the majors with 19 homers, and his 50 RBI and .359 average are also among the league leaders. He's batting .432 over the past 19 games and is 18-for-30 with six homers and nine RBI in the past eight games.

"I think Chris has got a grip on how hard it is to be consistent with this," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "For a power hitter, he's been pretty consistent so far. I think he understands that he's respected and guys are going to be very cautious with him."

Baltimore reliever Steve Johnson (1-1) earned the win after replacing starter Chris Tillman in the fifth with the Orioles trailing 6-2. Tillman lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits, including four homers and all three of Zimmerman's shots.

"I thought Stevie's (Pearce) home run kind of brought us back," Showalter said. "But probably the key outing was Johnson. That's going to be over looked."

Zimmerman homered in his first three at-bats and finished with four RBI.

Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann (8-3), who was looking to become the MLB's first nine-game winner of the season, was charged with a season-high seven runs and 10 hits over six-plus innings to absorb the loss.

Roger Bernadina hit a solo homer and Denard Span drove in the other Washington run. The clubs split a pair of games in D.C. over the previous two days.

"We've been pretty good holding a lead," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said, "But strange things happen at this ballpark."

Getting the call for the O's on Thursday will be righty Freddy Garcia, who won his first start of the year on Saturday in Toronto and is 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA on the year. Garcia held the Jays to two earned runs and nine hits in five innings of that one.

Garcia is 2-0 in two games (1 start) against the Nats with a 3.00 ERA.

Washington, meanwhile, will counter with righty Dan Haren, who is winless in his last three starts and is 4-5 on the year with a 5.43 ERA. Haren did not get a decision on Saturday against Philadelphia, as he allowed three runs and struck out 10 over six innings of a 5-3 loss.

"Stuff-wise, (Saturday), is about as good as I've had all year," said Haren. "I just made a couple of mistakes. If I'm throwing like (that), we'll be good."

Haren is 5-3 versus the O's with a 4.02 ERA in 11 starts.

Baltimore took four of six games from the Nats last season.


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