It’s June 10 and the National League East-leading Nationals are showing no signs of a potential fade.
Gio Gonzalez allowed just three hits over 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball and first baseman Adam LaRoche hit his 10th home run of the season on Saturday afternoon as Washington rolled to its second consecutive victory over the Red Sox.
Gio now boasts a lights-out 2.35 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 89/30 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings this year.
The Nats are 10-2 in games that Gonzalez has started and will enter Sunday’s series finale at Fenway Park with a one-game lead over the Braves in what might be baseball’s most competitive division.
Your Saturday box scores:
Nationals 4, Red Sox 2
Cubs 3, Twins 11
Phillies 4, Orioles 6 (12 innings)
Blue Jays 2, Braves 5
Rangers 2, Giants 5
Astros 1, White Sox 10
Padres 5, Brewers 2
Tigers 3, Reds 2
Angels 11, Rockies 5
Mets 2, Yankees 4
Dodgers 8, Mariners 3
Royals 3, Pirates 5
Indians 0, Cardinals 2
Rays 13, Marlins 4
Athletics 3, Diamondbacks 8
The Orioles won their 19th game of the season 11 days ago. The club snapped a nine-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon, taking down the Marlins 10-4 to finally cross the 20-win threshold. Aside from the Orioles, who have baseball’s worst record (20-50), the White Sox were the slowest team to reach 20 wins, securing No. 20 on June 6 — 11 days ago, for those of you keeping score.
Mark Trumbo had three hits including a solo home run, three runs scored, and two RBI. Jace Peterson knocked in four runs, including two with a two-run homer. Starter Dylan Bundy wasn’t particularly sharp, giving up four runs over six innings, but it was good enough for the W.
Coincidentally, the Orioles’ last two wins at Camden Yards came on Father’s Day (June 17) and Mother’s Day (May 13). They were on an 11-game home losing streak.
There hasn’t been any one singular cause for the Orioles’ woes. The club has dealt with a handful of injuries. First baseman Chris Davis is having a tremendously terrible season, so much so that a Baltimore-area bar is offering free shots whenever he gets a hit. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop hasn’t hit anywhere close to the way he hit last year. Free agent pick-up Alex Cobb has a 7.14 ERA over 12 starts. Andrew Cashner has a 4.98 ERA and is on the 10-day disabled list. Zach Britton has been absent most of the season due to an injury, only recently coming back.
No one expected the Orioles to hang with the Yankees and Red Sox this season, but I don’t think anyone was expecting them to reach 20 wins in the middle of June, either.