WASHINGTON (AP)Even Chris Davis got in on the act for the suddenly slugging Orioles, doubling his season total by collecting two of Baltimore’s 19 hits and raising his average from .087 to .143 in an 11-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
It was the biggest margin of victory in a shutout win by a team coming off a 100-loss season against a reigning World Series champion in baseball history, according to Stats.
”This is one of those games where you’ve just got to put it behind you as quick as you can,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ”This game was about as lopsided as I’ve seen in a long time.”
Seven of the Orioles’ nine starting position players each got at least a pair of hits. Jose Iglesias led the way by going 4 for 4 with three RBIs, and Renato Nunez added a three-run homer to back left-hander Tommy Milone (1-1), whose six-inning outing was the longest by an Orioles pitcher this year.
Davis doubled and scored in the second and singled in the fifth as he tries to bounce back from two seasons in which he batted below .180. The two-time major league home run champ is in the fifth season of a $161 million, seven-year contract signed in 2016.
Milone, who was drafted by the Nationals in 2008 and briefly pitched for them in 2011 and 2018, gave up just three hits.
”They gave me my first opportunity to play in the big leagues, so I’ll always cherish that. It’s a little different this year, no fans in the stands so it looks different, but it’s nice to come back,” Milone said. ”It brings back memories.”
The Orioles were coming off getting swept in four games at home by the cobbled-together, coronavirus-struck Miami Marlins. But after scoring a grand total of once through the first three games of that series, Baltimore put up seven runs in the finale Thursday, then kept on swinging well Friday against the Nationals and Anibal Sanchez (0-2).
”It was a good day all around, especially coming off that series against Miami,” Iglesias said. ”It was huge to build our confidence.”
Sanchez kept leaving the ball up and allowed five runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings as Washington dropped its second straight game and fell to 4-6.
Reliever Ryne Harper entered and turned a manageable deficit for Washington into an 8-0 laugher by serving up a home run, two doubles and a single to the first four hitters he faced. That included Nunez’s fifth homer.
The Nationals have played only twice in the past week because of postponements caused by the Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak.
”Every day coming to the field is a bit of a roller-coaster,” said Washington shortstop Trea Turner, 0 for 15 over the past four games. ”We can’t make any excuse. We’ve got to move on and just play better.”
STRASBURG TO DEBUT
World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his 2020 debut in Sunday’s series-ender against Baltimore. Strasburg, who made all 33 starts last season and led the NL in innings (209) and wins (18) before going 5-0 in the postseason, has been sidelined by a nerve issue in his throwing hand.
Orioles LHP John Means likely will miss Sunday’s start; he went on the bereavement list Wednesday following the death of his father. ”It’s still a little bit unclear when he’s going to return. We’re going to give him the time he needs to be to be with his family,” manager Brandon Hyde said. Hyde was unsure who will be his first pitcher Sunday and is considering making it a bullpen game.
Orioles: 3B Rio Ruiz returned after missing two games with a sore shoulder. He was the only member of the starting lineup without a hit, going 0 for 5 with three strikeouts, but he did walk and score a run in the second.
Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer was slated to throw on flat ground Friday afternoon to test the tweaked right hamstring that ended his start Wednesday after just one inning.
RHP Austin Voth (0-1, 3.60 ERA) starts for Washington on Saturday against Baltimore RHP Thomas Eshelman (0-0, 2.70).
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