WASHINGTON -- Years from now, when he shows his grandchildren the baseball that represents his first major league hit, Danys Baez will probably talk about how he deftly ran around the bases and scored the winning run.
The veteran reliever might conveniently choose to omit details of the hit -- a squibber that rolled around 30 feet down the third-base line while he frantically sprinted toward first base.Baez ignited a 12th-inning uprising with a surprising single, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 Friday night to end a four-game losing streak.With the Baltimore bench down to one player in this interleague duel, Baez reached on a swinging bunt against Kip Wells (0-2) with two outs and no one on base."I got lucky. I made the right contact and the ball went to the right place," said Baez, who had not batted since 2003.After Brian Roberts followed with a ground-rule double that bounced just inside the left-field line, Adam Jones lined a two-run double into the left-field corner."I guess I obviously could have gotten ahead of Roberts, or thrown a better breaking ball to Jones," Wells said. "Neither of those things happened."A better job against Baez would have helped, too."It was just a pitcher hack. It wasn't anything other than [that]," Wells said. "The first pitch he kind of bailed out, the next one he chopped it into the ground."Said Baez: "Everything happened at the right time. It was perfect for us today."Baez (3-1) pitched two shutout innings, and George Sherrill worked the 12th for his eighth save in 10 tries."I thought the infield hit by Baez kind of loosened the club up," manager Dave Trembley said, "and then once Roberts got the hit, you kind of felt like things were going in your favor."Washington managed only four hits -- one after the fourth inning -- and fell to 0-6 in extra innings. The Nationals have been outscored 14-0 after the ninth inning this season."Most of it comes from the struggles we had in the back end of our bullpen. That's why if the game goes to extra innings, we struggle there," Washington manager Manny Acta said.Both Washington runs came on a fourth-inning homer by Ryan Zimmerman."We just couldn't get anything going offensively, and it cost us," Acta said.Rich Hill, making his second start for Baltimore after starting the season on the disabled list with an elbow strain, allowed two runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings.He was replaced by Matt Albers, who retired all four batters after being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk earlier in the day.Nationals rookie Jordan Zimmermann gave up two runs, six hits and a walk over seven innings in his seventh start. The right-hander struck out seven in the longest appearance of his brief career.Zimmermann yielded 21 runs and 28 hits in his previous four starts.Nolan Reimold gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead with his second homer in eight games since his recall from Norfolk, a second-inning shot to left field on a 3-1 pitch from Zimmermann.Baltimore added a run in the third when Roberts hit a two-out double and Jones followed with an RBI single.Zimmerman tied it in the fourth with an opposite-field drive to right after Nick Johnson led off with a single.
The Orioles released RHP Adam Eaton to make room for Albers. ... Zimmerman has reached base safely in 40 straight games, six short of the franchise record held by Rusty Staub (1969-70). ... Baltimore improved to 91-121 in interleague play. ... Nationals reliever Ron Villone blanked Baltimore in the eighth inning, his 10th straight scoreless appearance. ... For only the second time in 13 games, Washington was held below five runs.