video thumbnail

WSH@SF: Gio fans five over 7 1/3 dominant innings

With the way the Orioles have mashed American League pitching in May, they might be hesitant to hop leagues.

As Baltimore enters the final week of May, the offense is rolling and it will head to the nation's capital on Monday to take on the Nationals.

Chris Davis is leading the O's charge, with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.103 in May. Third baseman Manny Machado is hitting .354 for the month, and Nick Markakis (.330) has consistently contributed as well. Adam Jones is hitting .301 for the month, with five home runs despite dealing with a sore groin.

In fact, the Orioles have the second-highest OPS in the Major Leagues for the month of May, behind only the Detroit Tigers.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he doesn't think his team needs to tweak much against its National League opponent, which he called "one of the best teams in baseball."

"It's a place we have played before, it's not as much adjustment as there usually is," Showalter said. "The game is the game; it's 90 feet [between bases]. But the biggest thing is trying to familiarize yourselves with the players."

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez is tasked with keeping Baltimore's streaking offense in check. Gonzalez has been stellar in May, having allowed just five earned runs in his four starts this month.

He'll look to keep that rolling against the Orioles, and he says he has a plan to do so.

"Just trying to pound the strike zone, especially knowing that Baltimore's a very aggressive hitting team and any time you see them out there, they're putting up four or five runs," Gonzalez said. "So my job is to make sure to keep myself in the game and try to compete at the highest level to give my team a chance to win."

Gonzalez has given his team plenty of chances to win this month, but his offense has let him down. He's earned just one win in his stretch of four strong starts.

"It's just a matter of time until the guys start swinging the bats, until everything starts clicking," Gonzalez said. "I think that sometimes it gets to a point where you just remember that all this is a team thing. Individual things are nice, but at the end of the day, we're all looking at one thing: how to win the game. So when I got out there and pitch, I try to keep my team in the game as long as possible and give them a chance to win."

After two games in Nationals Park, the teams will travel to Baltimore for two more games in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Orioles: Hammel puts unbeaten streak against Nats on the line
• Jason Hammel is 5-0 in seven starts against the Nationals, the best record among active pitchers with at least five starts against Washington.

Hammel is 6-2 on the year, but his ERA stands at 5.37 and he hasn't made it out of the seventh inning yet this season.

His last start was an encouraging one, as he matched his season high with 6 2/3 innings pitched and allowed just two earned runs with six strikeouts.

Nationals: Harper may miss two-game set
• Bryce Harper left Sunday's series finale vs. Philadelphia with a sore left knee, leaving manager Davey Johnson to say that Harper may rest for a couple of games, at least. Harper wasn't so sure he'd miss time, saying, "I have to deal with the pain and try to [stay] in there every day. We'll see what happens."

• Adam LaRoche hit a home run Saturday that established a franchise record: Washington has now hit at least one home run in 72 consecutive series dating back to September 2011. That's the second-longest stretch in the Major Leagues, behind only the Texas Rangers, who have gone deep in 81 consecutive series.

Worth noting
• Markakis will look to extend his 11-game hitting streak. He singled in the first inning Sunday to keep his streak alive.

• Baltimore closer Jim Johnson has converted just one of his past five save attempts dating back to May 14. He's given up 12 earned runs in five innings over that span.

• An RBI double on Sunday stretched Nationals center fielder Denard Span's hitting streak to seven games. The hit was part of Washington's five-run seventh inning.

• Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard has yet to surrender a run in May, a span of 8 2/3 innings. Comments