July 08, 2014

BALTIMORE -- Washington Nationals rookie right-hander Reynaldo Lopez will try to duplicate his last outing and square the series when the Nationals face the Orioles on Tuesday night in Baltimore.

Lopez (2-1, 4.37 ERA) shut down the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 18, allowing two runs -- one earned -- on four hits in seven innings as he beat Atlanta for the second time in five days.

The 22-year-old's task will be tougher on Tuesday night when he makes his first career start against Mark Trumbo and the Orioles, who lead the majors with 194 home runs.

Trumbo smacked his 38th homer of the season, a two-run shot, and Jonathan Schoop added a solo shot in Baltimore's 4-3 win on Monday before 31,660 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"It was an energy that was needed," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the crowd after his team snapped a three-game losing streak. "It's a pick me up. We're having to make a lot of adjustments with batting practice and work schedules trying to keep our legs under us. That's why an atmosphere like this is nice."

Trumbo leads the majors in home runs and is already four beyond his previous season high with over a month left in the season.

"I wanted to drive the ball in the air a little bit more this year. That was kind of the mindset going into it, and all the offseason work was kind of geared towards that," Trumbo said. "You don't know if it's going to materialize or not, but you hope it does and so far so good."

Baltimore's Dylan Bundy outpitched A.J. Cole, but Cole's effort could be felt throughout the remainder of the home-and-home series.

Pitching in place of Stephen Strasburg, who went on the disabled list Monday with a sore right elbow, Cole went seven innings and provided some much-needed rest for a Washington bullpen that has been overworked during the team's road trip.

"He did more than save our bullpen he threw a heckuva game," manager Dusty Baker said. "Great poise and great command against a very good offense."

Cole joined Lopez and Trea Turner among the prospects who have been thrust into the spotlight for Washington this season.

"Our young guys have come through in all departments -- offensively, defensively, pitching wise -- and their future's bright and so is ours," Baker said.

Anthony Rendon homered for Washington and is hitting .333 with 12 doubles, seven homers, 21 runs scored and 25 RBIs in his last 31 games.

Danny Espinosa had a home run as well, snapping a 38-game stretch without one. Bryce Harper went 0-for-3 with a walk and is hitting .175 (10-for-57) lifetime against the Orioles.

Right-hander Kevin Gausman (4-10, 4.11 ERA) starts for Baltimore on Tuesday. He allowed five runs -- four earned -- in 6 2/3 innings last time out against the Astros, but picked up his second win this month.

In his last four starts Gausman has allowed 10 earned runs in 23 2/3 innings (3.80 ERA). At home this season, he is 4-1 with a 2.73 ERA. Gausman is 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two career starts versus Washington, the last being in 2014.

Wilson Ramos is 2-for-3 against Gausman with a home run.

You May Like