BALTIMORE — A tense interleague series between neighboring teams with exceptional pitching staffs was decided by a timely swing from a player who almost got the day off.
Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to interrupt Baltimore's agonizing offensive struggle, and the Orioles squeezed past the Nationals 2-1 Sunday.
Baltimore appeared headed for its third shutout loss in six games. Then Adam Jones led off the eighth with a single off Sean Burnett and Wieters drove an 0-and-1 pitch over the centerfield wall.
"It felt great," Wieters said. "Everyone was battling up there, trying to grind through at-bats to get a run, and to finally get one was great."
Wieters sealed the victory in the ninth. With one out, Jim Johnson struck out Danny Espinosa and Wieters threw out Ian Desmond attempting to steal second.
Manager Buck Showalter considered resting his catcher, who also played Saturday, then decided against it.
"I came close to not playing Matt, with an off day (today)," Showalter said.