Down 4-3 heading to the last of the ninth today and 0-51 this year when trailing after eight innings, the Orioles scored two runs in the ninth today to stun the Washington Nationals 5-4 and complete a three-game sweep at Camden Yards.
Nats closer Brad Hand hit Maikel Franco on an 0-2 pitch to start the rally. Then Ryan McKenna singled, sending Franco to third base, and pinch-hitter Austin Hays walked to load the bases.
A Pat Valaika sac fly to right scored the tie run and McKenna tagged, going from second to third on the play. Then pinch-hitter Ramón Urías hit one to third base and McKenna’s dive beat Carter Kieboom’s throw to the plate.
The Orioles improved to 34-64 overall and to 6-3 since the All-Star break with their third walk-off win of the season.
Earlier, lefty John Means had to work hard to get through the first inning but then settled in and had a mostly good outing after that. One pitch marred that day however.
Leading 3-1 with two on and two outs in the top of the sixth, Means allowed a three-run homer to Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman. That put the Nationals ahead 4-3 as Zimmerman hit No. 11 for this season and No. 281 for his career.
But the Orioles rallied to avoid the one-run loss.
Zimmerman blasted a high fastball 402-feet to center to give Washington its first lead in this series since the…