Schoop's 9th-inning HR carries Orioles past Nationals 3-2
Jul. 11, 2015
BALTIMORE (AP) — As he languished on the disabled list with a sprained right knee, Jonathan Schoop missed hitting home runs, winning games and celebrating a victory with his teammates.
He did all that, and then some, on Friday night.
Schoop hit a game-winning solo homer with two outs in the ninth inning, capping a rally that carried the Baltimore Orioles past the Washington Nationals 3-2.
Schoop drove a 2-2 pitch from Tanner Roark (4-4) into the seats in left field. Schoop has two homers in five games since being activated from the 60-day DL on Sunday.
As he reached the plate, the second baseman was mobbed by his teammates. He later received a pie in the face from Adam Jones, which is how the Orioles' traditionally celebrate a rousing win at home.
"It's exciting, really exciting," Schoop said. "I'm glad I'm here, with my teammates and my fans. I'm really happy to be here, and especially to help the team to win."
Roark blamed the home run on a slider that didn't miss by much against a batter who took advantage of playing in a small ballpark.
"I thought it was a good pitch. Maybe could've been a touch lower," Roark said.
Jones hit his 12th home run for the Orioles, who trailed 2-1 in the eighth before coming back to earn their third win in the last 11 games.
"This is really big," Schoop said.
Zach Britton (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for Baltimore.
The interleague matchup between clubs located 40 miles apart on I-295 drew a sellout crowd of 46,289, the largest of the season at Camden Yards.
Washington starter Gio Gonzalez gave up one run, six hits and three walks in six-plus innings. The right-hander has yielded only two runs in his last 20 innings.
He was in position to get the win until Baltimore tied it in the eighth. After pinch-hitter Chris Parmelee reached against Casey Janssen on a broken-bat roller down the third base line, Matt Wieters greeted Matt Thornton with an RBI double to right-center.
Chris Tillman allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings, walking one and striking out six. The right-hander remained unbeaten in seven starts since May 31.
Limited to an infield single over the first four innings, the Nationals used a five-hit fifth to go up 2-1. Tyler Moore had a two-out RBI double and scored on a single by Michael Taylor.
One inning later, Tillman ended his outing by striking out Jose Lobaton with two outs and runners on the corners.
"We just didn't swing the bats as good as we can tonight," Moore said. "Pitching was great. It's just frustrating. You just want to see us swing the bats a little better."
Washington's injury-depleted offense took another hit before the game when leadoff hitter Denard Span went on the 15-day disabled list with back spasms. He joins Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon on the DL.
In spite of this, and although they have scored no more than three runs in seven of their last eight games, the Nationals are in first place in the NL East.
Jones opened the scoring by hitting the first pitch in the Baltimore fourth into the seats in left. Later in the inning, J.J. Hardy grounded out for the second time with two outs and two runners on.
The three walks allowed by Gonzalez ended a run of 20 straight games in which Washington issued two walks or fewer, the second-longest such streak since 1900.
Nationals: Lobaton went 0 for 4, grounding into two double plays. He came to the plate with five runners on base, including three in scoring position, but failed to advance any.
Orioles: Steve Pearce was 0 for 3, striking out twice and grounding into a double play before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
Nationals: Washington manager Matt Williams said an MRI on Span showed no structural damage, adding, "Hopefully in 15 days he'll be back."
Orioles: RHP Wesley Wright, who's on the 60-day DL with shoulder inflammation, pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief Thursday for Triple-A Norfolk.
Nationals: RHP Jordan Zimmermann, whose wife gave birth to a girl on Friday, is expected to be activated from the paternity list to start Saturday night.
Orioles: RHP Miguel Gonzalez vies for his team-high eighth victory in his first career start against Washington.