BALTIMORE -- On the final day of a brutal week that saw the Orioles blow a six-run lead, lose a 15-inning game and cover a pair of starts that didn't last four innings, Jeremy Guthrie provided a perfect blueprint for bouncing back and salvaging a series.
And he finally got something to show for it.
The veteran of the staff, Guthrie wasn't involved in manager Buck Showalter's pregame speech to the team's four young starters. Instead he continued to be the poster child for reliability, keeping the Nationals from scoring an earned run over seven innings in his ninth quality start in 10 tries.
The outing, in addition to saving an overworked and underperforming bullpen, set the tone for Saturday's 8-3 win, snapping Baltimore's four-game losing streak in the process.
It also provided Guthrie with his first win since Opening Day, a long overdue "W" that gave the Orioles a break from their constant scramble to get fresh bullpen arms in an effort to stay afloat.
"There's been tough games, but we have a group of guys that are resilient," Guthrie said of an Orioles team that weathered an eight-game losing streak in the season's first month. "We've been knocked down a few times this year and gotten back up each time. So I don't think anybody in the clubhouse anticipated anything different."
A solid outing from Guthrie has become almost expected. The real difference on Saturday, when he allowed just five hits and struck out six, was that the Orioles' erratic offense played along.
"He could easily be 6-2 instead of 2-6," catcher Matt Wieters said of Guthrie, who entered the start with the least run support of any starter in the American League, at 1.70 runs per game.
"Every fifth day, he's going to go out there and give you a chance to win."
The Orioles' bats finally put Guthrie in a spot to do that, scoring four runs in the third inning to snap a 24-inning scoreless stretch with the right-hander on the mound.
With the Orioles down two runs because of Brandon Snyder's error in the top of the third, outfielder Nolan Reimold -- who was recalled prior to Friday's game -- evened things up with his first homer of the year. After Mark Reynolds worked a leadoff walk, Reimold blasted John Lannan's pitch an estimated 374 feet into the left-field stands to put the O's on the board.
"It felt very good," Reimold said. "The guys didn't let up, and we scored a few more."
Six more, to be exact, including a pair of two-out runs before the third inning came to a close. The Orioles capitalized on Jayson Nix's error, which allowed Adam Jones to score, and Vladimir Guerrero added an RBI single.
The offense continues to be led by the consistency of Guerrero, who established a career high with his seventh consecutive multi-hit game.
"Vladi's going to be in the Hall of Fame," Showalter said. "I think, sometimes, I don't know if we take him for granted. I've always respected him. But you really appreciate him. You know what you're getting every day. I look up there and he's hitting [.310]. He gave us a big two-out knock there, and there were a lot of two-out hits, and those are real morale boosters when you get those."
The Orioles' eight runs were more than enough for Guthrie, who had just 10 runs of support in his previous eight starts combined. Guthrie wriggled out of his only jam of the day in the sixth, getting Matt Stairs to ground into an inning-ending double play to leave a pair of runners stranded.
"Guthrie pulled one out of there -- a changeup that he really hasn't been throwing very much," Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said of the pitch that Stairs buried into the ground. "He just threw one heck of a pitch right there. It was a changeup that I'm sure Matt thought was a fastball. By the time you know it's not, you are committed to the swing. It was a great pitch in a big situation."
The Orioles used that momentum to bust open the game in the seventh. Snyder doubled for his second hit of the afternoon and scored on Robert Andino's single to extend the Orioles' lead to three and chase Lannan. The Orioles also tagged reliever Cole Kimball with a pair of runs to finish the four-run frame.
"It was a good win for us," Showalter said. "We have to try to win [on Sunday] and see if we can win the series. You can't dwell on it too long. Just like last night. Those are a little harder not to, especially with all the [roster] moves we've had to make."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.