May 29, 2013, 5:27 AM EDT
USA Today Sports Photos
Adam LaRoche and Tyler Moore combined to hit three homers in the Nats’ win.
Adam LaRoche could tell Nathan Karns was a tad nervous to make his big-league debut when he noticed the right-hander’s jersey was soaking wet. This was while Karns was still in the dugout, having yet to face his first major-league batter.
“Like he walked through the shower before he even took the mound,” LaRoche said. “That was fun. I’m sure his world was spinning real fast.”
Knowing their rookie starter — who only 24 hours earlier was preparing to face the Class AA Akron Aeros — was in a bit of a fog, the Nationals came up with the best possible plan to ease a young pitcher through that pressure situation: They went out and scored a ton of runs.
Behind four homers — two by LaRoche, plus back-to-back shots by struggling Tyler Moore and Roger Bernadina — the Nationals pounded the Orioles and rookie Kevin Gausman into submission, cruising to a 9-3 victory before a boisterous crowd of 35,664 that waited out an 81-minute rain delay to see the two promising right-handers go head-to-head.
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.
- Nationals respond to Williams' challenge, beat Cards
- Nats strike early on Wacha, beat Cardinals 3-1
- Span plays three innings for Hagerstown in second rehab game
- Ramos takes first swings since breaking left hand
- Denard Span on track to return to Nats this weekend
- Nats call up Xavier Cedeno, send Blake Treinen to Syracuse
- Nationals need a bounce-back vs. Cardinals
- Errors cost Nationals in ugly loss to Cardinals
- The Baseball Show: How can Strasburg turn it around?
- Bryce Harper travels through time in new ad (VIDEO)