WASHINGTON -- The ball cradled in Tanner Scott's left hand on a sticky summer night at Nationals Park. Scott, who had come in to face the top two lefties in Washington's lineup, had already failed to record an out in the bottom of the seventh inning. And the 98-mph fastball
WASHINGTON -- The ball cradled in Tanner Scott's left hand on a sticky summer night at Nationals Park. Scott, who had come in to face the top two lefties in Washington's lineup, had already failed to record an out in the bottom of the seventh inning. And the 98-mph fastball he fired to the first righty he faced, Anthony Rendon, only made matters worse, as the Nats' third baseman swatted it into the gap.
The last-place Orioles already have one eye on the future, and there will be bumps along the way. And the 23-year-old Scott, who has been shuttled back and forth from Triple-A all season, has mostly held his own. But with lefty Richard Bleier out for the season after undergoing lat surgery on Tuesday, Scott was thrust into another promotion. And this one didn't end well, as the rookie surrendered a career-high three runs as part of a four-run frame that handed the O's a 9-7 loss to their Beltway brethren on Tuesday.
"That's something Tanner has got to be able to do," manager Buck Showalter said of coming in late in a close game and preserving the lead. "He's got a chance to be a good pitcher. Every club, you have injuries and things that happen. It creates opportunity for somebody."
But the only ones who seized that seventh-inning chance Tuesday were wearing red and navy blue. Scott, who watched Adam Eaton bunt for a base hit and gave up a single to red-hot Nats rookie Juan Soto, was done in by Rendon's two-run double. So, too, was the Orioles' one-run lead. Rendon's double made it 7-6 and Scott left after recording just one out. Righty Mike Wright Jr. allowed two more runs to score, one of which was charged to Scott.
"My job is just to get lefties out and whoever's in the box," Scott said when asked if his role has changed without Bleier. "And today, I was missing more middle, and ended up giving up a couple of runs and putting us in the losing column, which wasn't ideal. But you live and you learn."
The Orioles offense, which scored four or more for the third consecutive game, got two-run homers from Jace Peterson in the third and Trey Mancini in the fourth and jumped out to an early 5-1 lead.
But Bryce Harper's perfectly placed bloop double knotted things up in the Nats' four-run fifth inning, which saw O's starter David Hess come unglued.
Hess was cruising -- save for Trea Turner's solo homer in the second -- until the Nats loaded the bases in the fifth. One out later, Eaton's grounder to the left side found a hole and scored two. Hess issued a walk to Soto to reload the bases and Rendon's sacrifice fly whittled the Orioles' lead to one before Harper's hit. He finished with five earned runs allowed in 4 2/3 innings, with five hits and three walks against two strikeouts.
"Walks were the killer in that inning. You look at the hits I gave up, they weren't hard-hit balls. They just kind of placed them perfect," Hess said. "But those were set up by the walks, and I think I've got to make better pitches in those situations and we're not even in those positions to begin with."
Joey Rickard brought Baltimore's deficit to two with a solo homer in the ninth off of Sean Doolittle.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
O's can't cash in: With the bases loaded in the sixth, pinch-hitter Corban Joseph's groundout made it 6-5. But that was all the O's would get, as Mancini was thrown out at home plate on an attempted steal of home. Baltimore went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position on the night.
"They did a lot better job cashing in their bases-loaded-nobody-out situation than we did," Showalter said. "What did we have, 7 runs on 7 hits? There were a lot of good at-bats and walks and we didn't get too over-anxious against their first pitcher, but we just weren't able to stem the tide."
Peterson -- who also homered Sunday -- has recorded an RBI in back-to-back games for just the third time in his career.
"I went back to doing some cage work that really I started feeling my swing again," Peterson said. "And the last few days, I've been feeling good, so for me it's a matter of continuing to stay on it and put good at-bats together."
Orioles reliever Darren O'Day was not available on Tuesday night as he's dealing with a hamstring issue and has been sidelined the past four days. Showalter said O'Day was close and the team is hoping to get good news after a postgame bullpen session on Tuesday.
HE SAID IT
"I don't care how hard you're throwing up here, it's about angle and deception. Soto has had a good career against left-handed pitching anyway, but he should do a better job than that." -- Showalter, on Scott
Andrew Cashner will be activated from the disabled list to make Wednesday's start opposite Nats lefty Giovany Gonzalez at Nationals Park. Cashner, who has been dealing with a lower back strain, will look to regain form against the Nationals after allowing at least eight hits in his last four outings. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.