WASHINGTON – Ross Detwiler's emergence as a reliable starter has been one of the early bright spots on a Washington Nationals team beset by injuries.
Saturday night's effort is one he'd rather forget.
The left-hander surrendered six runs on nine hits in five innings as Washington fell behind 6-0 and saw a late rally fall short in a 6-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
Adam Jones and Nick Markakis hit two-run homers and the Orioles matched a season high with their fifth straight win.
Washington has lost three straight.
Detwiler gave up six runs and nine hits in five innings, the first time a Nationals starter gave up six runs since Sept. 10, 2011.
"Det was throwing the ball good. The problem was they were getting on his fastball pretty good. He wasn't locating it that well," said manager Davey Johnson. "He didn't use both sides of the plate tonight and also, his secondary stuff, he wasn't getting it over. The first curveball he threw over was in like the fourth inning."
Detwiler (3-3) saw his earned run average rise from 2.75 to 3.65.
"I put the team in a hole early and they did a great job trying to dig out. It's just too much, really," Detwiler said."
Trailing 6-0 after 4 1/2 innings, the Nationals rallied, scoring one in the fifth and three in the sixth. Ryan Zimmerman, who had three hits, homered with two out in the bottom of the ninth off Orioles closer Jim Johnson to make it 6-5, but Johnson recovered to get Adam LaRoche on a foul tip that catcher Matt Wieters held for strike three to end the game.
"You can't always jump out to a lead and cruise home," Zimmerman said. "This team handles adversity well, and we battle to the last out. We did that again tonight. That's all you can ask for."
It was Johnson's 15th save in as many chances this year, and his 23rd straight.
Jason Hammel (5-1) pitched 5 1-3 innings for the win, allowing four runs and six hits. Baltimore relievers Luis Ayala, Troy Patton and Pedro Strop combined for 2 2-3 scoreless innings.
The Orioles scored two runs in the second off Detwiler. Wilson Betemit led off with a single, Xavier Avery drew a one-out walk, Hammel sacrificed and both runners scored on Robert Andino's single.
Jones, who had three hits, connected for his 14th home run of the year in the third, a shot that landed just over the Orioles' bullpen in left field. The Orioles are 13-1 when Jones homers.
Markakis, who hit a go-ahead homer in the 11th inning Friday, had a two-run shot in the fifth. His eighth home run of the season extended the lead to 6-0.
Washington scored a run in the fifth on three straight two-out singles, and drove Hammel out of the game in the sixth when Rick Ankiel hit an RBI double.
After Hammel left the game, the Nationals' third run scored on an infield out and the fourth on Roger Bernadina's RBI single.
"We hit some balls hard the second half of the game," Johnson said.
NOTES: Johnson said that when RHP Chien-Ming Wang finishes his rehab assignment, he'll likely pitch him in the bullpen. Wang, who's on the disabled list with a pulled hamstring, was projected as a starter, but the emergence of Detwiler makes his addition to the starting rotation sticky. "I don't look at him as a reliever. I look at him as a quality, major league starter," Johnson said. ... Miguel Tejada, who signed a minor league contract with Baltimore earlier this month, will report to Triple-A Norfolk. Tejada, who had two prior stints with the Orioles, was in extended spring training in Sarasota, Fla. ... Jones extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... The crowd of 42,331 was the second largest in Nationals Park history. ... The Orioles will send Wei-Yin Chen (4-0) against the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg (3-1) on Sunday.