BALTIMORE (AP) - If hitting is actually contagious, the Baltimore Orioles need someone to get their ailing offense headed in the right direction.
Then, perhaps, the rest of the slumping lineup will follow suit.
The Orioles managed five hits and scored their lone run on a homer by Adam Jones in a 3-1 loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
It was the fourth defeat in five games for the Orioles, who have scored only six runs during that span.
``We're just not swinging the bats as well as we want to,' Jones said. ``It's baseball. It happens.'
Perhaps, but the Orioles have scored just 15 runs while going 3-5 in their past eight games.
Chris Davis is mired in a 0 for 28 skid, J.J. Hardy is 3 for 32 in his past eight games, and no one else has been picking up the slack.
``We're just swinging the bats and right now the hits aren't coming,' Jones said.
Mark Reynolds, who went 1 for 3 with two strikeouts, added, ``It's a long season. A lot of games and a lot of ups and downs. We're in a funk right now, but we'll bounce back. We're a good offensive club.'
Edwin Jackson (4-4) took a one-hitter into the seventh inning and ending up allowing one run, four hits and a walk in 6 1-3 innings. He retired the first 12 batters he faced and permitted only one runner past first base through six innings.
Jackson appeared dominant, but it was actually a struggle.
``It was kind of a funny game because Edwin didn't feel too good when he started the game,' Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
Said Jackson: ``I wasn't sick. It was just one of those days you don't have blow-away stuff. You just have to go out and pitch. That's pretty much what it was from the time I started throwing in the pen, I knew what kind of day it was going to be.'
Four pitchers in Washington's starting rotation - Jackson, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann - have an ERA under 3.00.
``That's a good team, and it starts with their starting pitching,' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ``And their bullpen's doing well, too.'
Such was the case Saturday night.
After Jones ruined Jackson's shutout bid by leading off the seventh with his team-high 19th home run, the right-hander retired Matt Wieters on a deep fly before giving up successive singles.
Former Oriole Michael Gonzalez came in and got pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino to line into an inning-ending double play.
Sean Burnett worked the eighth, and Tyler Clippard got three straight outs for his 12th save in 13 tries.
Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen (7-3) allowed three runs, two earned, and six hits in five innings. He bloodied his fingernail on a comebacker in the fourth inning, but did not blame that on his shaky performance.
``Physically, mentally and mechanically, I felt really great, but I got in some trouble after two strikes,' Chen said through an interpreter. ``I cannot finish out.'
The Taiwan native won his three previous starts, over Boston, Pittsburgh and Atlanta. He is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in his two outings against Washington and 7-1 in his other 12 starts.
The game attracted 46,298 fans, the fifth sellout at Camden Yards this season. The first was on opening day, and the Phillies and Nationals each drew two packed houses.
Washington went up 2-0 in the second inning. With runners at second and third and two outs, Orioles third baseman Wilson Betemit ranged to his left to grab a grounder by Xavier Nady, then bounced a throw to first that eluded Reynolds. Nady received credit for an RBI single, and the other run came home on the throwing error.
Adam LaRoche led off the fourth with his team-leading 13th homer, a towering fly that dropped over the center-field wall. Eleven of his last 16 hits have been for extra bases.
Baltimore's first runner came when Jones reached on an error by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman leading off the fifth. He took third on a one-out single by Betemit, and after a walk loaded the bases with two outs, Jackson retired Steve Pearce on a popup.
NOTES: Jackson is 6-1 lifetime against Baltimore, 4-0 with a 1.02 ERA over the past four seasons. ... The Orioles released 49-year-old LHP Jamie Moyer at his request. Moyer pitched in three games for Triple-A Norfolk after signing a minor league contract on June 6. ... The Orioles and Nationals wrap up the series, as well as interleague play, on Sunday. Jake Arrieta (2-5 with a 6.85 ERA at home), starts for Baltimore. Ross Detwiler (4-3) goes for Washington. ... Chen has allowed nine homers this season, seven of them solo shots. ... Johnson said Zimmerman might need a shot in his ailing right shoulder.
The Associated Press News Service
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