WASHINGTON (AP) — Jorge Mateo drove in the go-ahead run with a 12th-inning single, and the Baltimore Orioles survived another shaky outing by closer Craig Kimbrel to beat the Washington Nationals 7-6 on Wednesday night and avoid being swept for the first time in nearly two years.

The Orioles blew two-run leads in the ninth and 11th. Ryan Mountcastle put Baltimore on top 5-3 with a two-run homer in the 11th off Hunter Harvey, but pinch-hitter Ildemaro Vargas hit a ground-rule double off Albert Suárez (2-0) in the bottom half to make it 5-4, and Jacob Young then tied it with a sacrifice fly.

In the 12th, Mateo led off with a base hit to score automatic runner Jordan Westburg, advanced to third on errors by third baseman Vargas and catcher Keibert Ruiz, and scored on a wild pitch by Jordan Weems (1-1).

Jacob Webb allowed Luis García Jr.’s leadoff double in the bottom half that got the Nationals within 7-6 but retired the next three batters for his second save.

Kimbrel blew a save for the third time in his last five outings, and it could have been four had he not been bailed out by Yennier Cano in a 2-1 win at Cincinnati on Saturday. He began the ninth with a 3-1 lead and retired the first two Washington batters before Eddie Rosario took him deep to right-center.

Kimbrel then issued back-to-back walks and was pulled for Keegan Akin, who gave up CJ Abrams’ tying single. The right-hander, signed in the offseason as a replacement for the injured Félix Bautista, is tied for fifth all-time with 425 career saves, but his hold on the closer’s role appears tenuous after blowing four of his 12 opportunities.

Nonetheless, the AL East-leading Orioles split the two-game series in front of a friendly crowd against their not-so-hated local rivals and extended their streak of regular-season series without being swept to 103, fourth-best in major league history. It was the 13th time in that span they won a series finale to extend the streak. Baltimore was last swept when it dropped three straight at Detroit from May 13-15, 2022, days before star catcher Adley Rutschman made his major league debut.

Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson hit his 11th homer of the season to match Shohei Ohtani for the major league lead, a go-ahead moonshot in the sixth.

Anthony Santander also homered off Nationals rookie left-hander Mitchell Parker, who had not allowed a longball in his previous four major league starts.

Making his second start of the season after he was sidelined by a UCL strain, Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish allowed one run in five labor-intensive innings. He struck out nine while allowing four hits, two walks and a hit batter.

Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz singled in each of his first two at-bats to break out of a 3-for-51 slump.


Orioles: RHP Grayson Rodriguez threw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since going on the 15-day injured list a week ago with right shoulder inflammation. He threw 15 pitches, including some breaking balls, and said he felt fine.

Nationals: RHP Josiah Gray (right elbow) threw 30 fastballs in his latest bullpen session Tuesday.


Orioles: Host Arizona on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series, with LHP Cole Irvin (3-1, 2.86 ERA) starting.

Nationals: Send lefty Patrick Corbin (0-3, 6.45) to the mound as they begin a three-game set at Boston on Friday night.


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