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O's disappoint Nats, record crowd

O's disappoint Nats, record crowd
WASHINGTON (AP) - Seven different players had RBIs, and eight starters had at least one hit. A balanced attack by the Baltimore Orioles produced a lopsided victory, one that disappointed the majority of the history-making crowd at Washington's new ballpark.

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Luke Scott and Ramon Hernandez homered, Adam Jones matched his career high with four hits, and the Orioles cruised past the Nationals 9-1 Saturday night in a game interrupted by rain for 63 minutes.

Jones led a crowded hit parade for Baltimore. Hernandez, who hit a two-run shot, was the only Oriole with more than one RBI.

"One through nine, that's how you win ballgames. You don't win a lot when only one or two guys are going off," said Aubrey Huff, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI. "We've been scoring enough runs to win, but tonight was one of those rare games when we could relax a little."

The matchup between teams located 35 miles apart drew the biggest gathering at Nationals Park since the $611 million stadium opened March 31. There were plenty of Orioles fans in attendance, and they were the only ones who took delight in seeing Washington let up nine straight runs before the rain arrived.

When play resumed, the stadium was less than half full.

Two of the top three crowds at the new stadium watched the Nationals face Baltimore. On Friday night, 35,830 showed up - second highest behind the 39,434 for the opener.

Garrett Olson (6-3) allowed one run, six hits and three walks in five innings for the Orioles. He also drove in a run and got a bunt single, the first hit in 17 at-bats this season by Baltimore pitchers.

Manager Dave Trembley appreciated Olson's gritty performance on the mound, but was reluctant to compliment the pitcher on his night at the plate.

"I'd rather not talk about it because if I do, I'll never hear the end of it," Trembley said.

Lance Cormier allowed one hit over the final four innings to earn his first major league save.

Nationals center fielder Lastings Milledge hurt his right groin while chasing a ball hit by Alex Cintron in the third inning and was placed on the 15-day disabled list during the game. Earlier, Milledge got his 32nd RBI and stole his 13th base.

"Tough one. The kid was leading our club in RBIs and he was making so much progress in center field," manager Manny Acta said. "He was looking so good and comfortable. ... It's been that kind of year. We'll give another kid a chance."

The Nationals recalled outfielder Roger Bernadina from Double-A Harrisburg to replace Milledge, who is expected to miss two to four weeks. Bernadina is expected to join the team Sunday and will start, Acta said.

Milledge's departure was only a portion of the anguish that Washington experienced in the third inning. Cintron's RBI triple tied it at 1, but John Lannan (4-9) appeared poised to avoid further damage after getting two groundouts with the infield drawn in.

Lannan then induced Nick Markakis to hit a comebacker, but the pitcher couldn't handle the ball and Cintron scored from third. Melvin Mora then ended an 0-for-17 skid with an infield hit off Lannan's glove, and Aubrey Huff followed with a run-scoring single.

"(Lannan) basically hurt himself a lot by not being able to field his position," Acta said. "It's amazing how much Greg Maddux and Jim Kaat and the (Tom) Glavines of the world help themselves by playing defense."

Baltimore made it 5-1 in the fourth. Scott led off with his 13th home run before Jones singled, stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Olson.

The Nationals got runners on second and third with two outs before Elijah Dukes flied out. Washington stranded seven runners in the first four innings while forcing Olson to throw 85 pitches.

"He made some big pitches when he had to," Trembley said. "I give him a lot of credit. He pitches with a lot of competitiveness."

Hernandez hit a two-run homer in the fifth, and Baltimore got four hits in the sixth against Jesus Colome, including RBI singles by Markakis and Mora.

Lannan gave up seven runs, four earned, and seven hits in five innings. He is 0-5 in seven starts since beating Baltimore on the road on May 18.

"I just kind of lost it. It just wasn't there today," he said. "Just kind of move on - a bad outing."

The Nationals broke on top when leadoff hitter Cristian Guzman doubled on Olson's fourth pitch and scored on a single by Milledge. Baltimore has been outscored 58-34 in the first inning this season, including 5-1 by Washington.


RHP Collin Balester's contract will be purchased from Triple-A Columbus by Washington, and he will start Tuesday at Florida. Balester is 9-3 with a 4.00 ERA in 15 starts. ... Jones is 7-for-8 in the series. ... In the series finale, Baltimore will attempt to end a streak of 11 straight Sunday losses.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: June 29, 2008

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