BALTIMORE -- Left-hander John Lannan had two bad innings on Saturday afternoon and they proved costly, as the Nationals lost to the Orioles, 8-3, at Camden Yards.
Lannan looked sharp for the first two innings, throwing just 15 pitches, but he had a difficult time making adjustments in the third, with Washington up by two runs. After leadoff hitter Mark Reynolds walked, Nolan Reimold sent a 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall to tie the score at 2.
Three batters later, Adam Jones was on first base when Nick Markakis singled to left field. Laynce Nix bobbled the ball, which allowed Jones to score all the way from first and Markakis to advance to second.
Markakis then scored on a single by Vladimir Guerrero, giving Baltimore a two-run lead.
"The first two innings, I felt good," Lannan said. "The third inning, I didn't make an adjustment. ... I have to find consistency -- stay in one spot and keep them off balance. I didn't do that in the third, and it hurt me. I was falling behind, and I was leaving balls up."
The Orioles added four runs in the bottom of the seventh. With Lannan on the mound, Brandon Snyder scored on a double by Robert Andino. Cole Kimball replaced Lannan and allowed an RBI single to Markakis. The run was charged to Lannan, who went six-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits.
Kimball also had a tough time in that frame. Markakis scored on a single by Matt Wieters, and Guerrero scored the fourth run of the inning on a single by J.J. Hardy.
It was Kimball's first rough outing since reaching the big leagues last week.
"The Orioles found holes -- good at-bats," manager Jim Riggleman said about Kimball's outing. "Markakis really stayed on a split-fingered pitch and just kept his head on the ball, drove it up the middle. That was a big hit. Vlad is a pro. You throw one over his head, and he'll do something. You throw one a foot outside, and he hits it to right. He is dangerous. He is a good hitter."
After scoring 17 runs on Friday, the Nationals struggled against Orioles right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who went seven innings and allowed two unearned runs on five hits.
"We didn't do much against Guthrie. We got two unearned runs there, but he is tough," Riggleman said. "He has done this to us before. He and [Jake] Arrieta are similar types of guys. They are good. We just have to get them. We are probably going to see them again in a couple of weeks."
The two unearned runs scored in the top of the third inning. With runners on second and third with two outs, Nix hit a ground ball to Snyder at first base. Snyder let the ball go by him for an error, which allowed Jerry Hairston Jr. and Ian Desmond to score.
The Nationals had another chance to score runs off Guthrie in the sixth inning. They had runners on first and second and one out, but designated hitter Matt Stairs hit into a double play.
"Guthrie pulled one out of there -- a changeup that he really hasn't been throwing very much," Riggleman said. "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."
Said Guthrie of the double play: "I did know I wanted to get a pitch down to Matt. He's aggressive. He can do damage if you get it up. So that was one of those pitches I was able to locate better than the majority of the other ones, and we got a big double play. A good pick by Snyder at first."
The Nationals would not score again until the ninth inning, when Stairs went home on Wilson Ramos' sacrifice fly off reliever Koji Uehara.
With the loss, the Nationals' record drops to 21-24.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.