Orioles rally with five-run eighth, neutralize Nationals

Anthony Santander belted a three-run homer in the eighth, and Pat Valaika and Pedro Severino hit back-to-back pinch-hit solo shots earlier in the inning as the visiting Baltimore Orioles rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Washington Nationals Saturday night.

Baltimore had just two hits through seven innings as the Nationals carried a 3-0 lead into the eighth. But Valaika led off the top half with his pinch-hit homer off Washington reliever Sean Doolittle.

Severino then made it two pinch-hit homers in a row when he followed with a blast to left. The Orioles then put two on before Santander sent his three-run homer, also to left, off closer Daniel Hudson (1-1) to give Baltimore a 5-3 lead.

It was the second straight win for Baltimore, as the O’s have outscored Washington 16-3 in the first two games of the series.

Washington had taken an early lead when Juan Soto hit his first home run of the season to lead off the second inning by slicing a low pitch from Baltimore starter Thomas Eshelman into the left-field seats. Kurt Suzuki followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 Nationals lead.

Eshelman, subbing in the start for John Means (bereavement leave) gave up five hits and struck out two over four innings.

Baltimore also couldn’t solve Washington starter Austin Voth, who tossed five shutout innings. Voth gave up two hits, struck out five and walked one.

The Nationals stretched the lead to 3-0 in the sixth when Eric Thames doubled off of Shawn Armstrong.

Baltimore reliever Shawn Armstrong (1-0) got the win after giving up only one hit, with two strikeouts, over 1 2/3 innings. Miguel Castro earned his first save of the season after working around a one-out walk to pitch a scoreless ninth.

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