Baltimore Orioles: Matt Harvey shines, Birds hold on to beat Washington

Matt Harvey turned in another great post-ASG start tonight for the Baltimore Orioles. Opponents’ bats are 4-for-40 against Harvey thus far in the second half of the season. And similar to last week in Kansas City, Harvey pitched to a quality start.Harvey’s line: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

The O’s took the least early when Trey Mancini smacked a solo homer in the first inning. Ryan Mountcastle followed suit with a solo shot of his own in the last of the fourth. For what it’s worth, Mountcastle had a grand slam against Washington last time around in May. Granted that was in a losing effort. Tonight’s homer came in a win.

The O’s would strike again in the sixth. Austin Hays’ RBI-double ran the score to 3-0. Later in the inning the Birds would load the bases, and while they didn’t plate all of the runners they were able to get a couple home. Pedro Severino’s RBI-single and Maikel Franco’s sac fly-RBI appeared to put the game out of reach at 5-0.

But to their credit my, Washington felt never felt they were out of it. Soto’s solo homer in the seventh cut the lead to 5-1. One inning later in the eighth it was Washington’s turn to load the bases. And Turner’s two-RBI single cut the lead to 5-3.

But that’s as close as Washington would get. The O’s would close out the game, and cruise to a 5-3 win. They’ve guaranteed a series win against Washington at Camden Yards.

The O’s did get lucky in a sense tonight however. Washington had to scrap their scheduled starter (Scherzer) in favor of Lester, who was scheduled to start tomorrow. Scherzer apparently had shoulder soreness. To his credit, Lester pitched fairly well. But it’s always a gift when you can avoid a team’s ace, and one of the best pitchers in baseball at that.

The series concludes tomorrow at Camden Yards. John Means gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Washington’s Pablo Espino. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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