By Michael Marzzacco

The Nationals dropped game one of the Beltway Series to the Orioles 4-3 on Monday night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Despite a small crowd of just over 31,000 it looked like a great atmosphere as many Nats fans made the drive up the beltway.

Those that couldn’t make it were at Nationals Park for a crab feast on the infield, an interesting promotion the Nats had this season.

The Nats jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI single by Daniel Murphy that scored Trea Turner. The O’s tied it in the third with a home run by Jonathan Schoop. The Nats retook the lead in the top of the fourth when Anthony Rendon homered into the seats in left-center field. It was Rendon’s 16th of the year.

The Orioles answered in the bottom of that frame. Chris Davis hit an RBI double into right field that scored Manny Machado that tied the game. Mark Trumbo followed with a two run homer, his 38th of the season.

The Nats closed the deficit to one run when Danny Espinosa took a pitch all the way out to the visor’s bullpen in left-center field, his 19th of the year. The Nats had a chance to tie it in the eighth after Daniel Murphy led off with a double but couldn’t bring him home. Bryce Harper and Rendon each got on base as well (Murphy got out at third with a fielder’s choice) but Ryan Zimmerman struck out to end the threat.

Stephen Strasburg was supposed to make the start initially but was placed on the 15-day DL with right elbow soreness. The Nats recalled AJ Cole from AAA Syracuse to make the start and he had an impressive outing despite the loss. He went seven innings with eight strikeouts on 108 pitches, allowing four runs to a very good Orioles team.

The Nats will look to even the series tonight at Camden Yards before the Beltway Series shifts to DC. First pitch is at 7:05. Reynaldo Lopez (2-1, 4.37 ERA) will go up against Kevin (4-10, 4.11 ERA).

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