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.
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