They're showing the Washington Nationals why.
Davis and Machado look to continue their outstanding production as the Orioles attempt to take the Beltway Series from the visiting Nationals on Thursday night.
Davis tops the majors with 19 homers, while his 50 RBIs and .359 average put the first baseman among the league leaders in those categories.
Machado's .332 average also puts him among elite company in the AL.
The 20-year-old third baseman batted .262 in 51 games as a rookie last year. Davis wasn't much better with a .270 average, but did set career highs with 33 homers and 85 RBIs.
Davis has been extremely hot lately, batting .432 over the past 19 games. He's 18 for 30 with six homers and nine RBIs in the past eight contests.
Machado has a .405 average over that stretch, including five hits to help the Orioles (29-24) win two of three from Washington (27-26) this week.
Davis has eight hits - three homers - in that span. He homered on two of his four hits Wednesday, driving in three to help Baltimore overcome a four-run deficit to win 9-6 in the opener of this two-game set at Camden Yards.
"He's been doing that the whole year, so every home run he hits from now on is just another one," Machado said. "It's impressive pop. He's a tremendous hitter and he's swinging the bat well."
Davis may be in for a stiffer test since Washington is scheduled to send Dan Haren (4-5, 5.43 ERA) to the mound. He's 2 for 10 with five strikeouts against the right-hander.
Haren, however, is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA over his last three starts.
He rebounded from a dismal performance in a 13-4 loss at San Diego with a much better showing Saturday against Philadelphia. Haren gave up three runs over six innings and struck out a season-high 10 before leaving without a decision in a 5-3 loss.
"The game against the Padres, my arm felt heavy," Haren told the team's official website. "It felt like I was throwing a softball. I just didn't throw good. ... Stuff-wise, (Saturday), is about as good as I've had all year. I just made a couple of mistakes. If I'm throwing like (that), we'll be good."
Haren is 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA in his last two starts at Baltimore, but this is his first appearance there since being tagged for seven runs in five innings of a defeat with the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 16, 2011.
Washington wasted Ryan Zimmerman 's first career three-homer game Wednesday, losing for the fifth time in six road contests. Zimmerman is 7 for 12 over the past three days and is a career .335 hitter against the Orioles.
He's hitless in four at-bats against scheduled starter Freddy Garcia (1-2, 4.61), who is looking to build on his first win since August.
The right-hander allowed three runs - two earned - in five innings of Saturday's 6-5 win at Toronto. He had been 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in eight starts, dating to a win over Texas with the New York Yankees on Aug. 15.
Garcia's latest appearance against the Nationals was two perfect innings of relief to earn a 5-3 win in 14 on June 16. He hasn't faced them as a starter since a victory with the Chicago White Sox on June 20, 2010.
|May 26, 2013||Bryce Harper||Day-to-Day||Left game - Sore left knee|
|May 24, 2013||Danny Espinosa||Day-to-Day||Broken bone in right wrist|
|May 20, 2013||Ryan Mattheus||15-Day DL||Fractured right hand|
|May 20, 2013||Ryan Mattheus||Day-to-Day||Broken right hand|
|May 16, 2013||Ross Detwiler||15-Day DL||Right back muscle strain|
|May 16, 2013||Wilson Ramos||15-Day DL||Left hamstring strain|
|May 24, 2013||Pedro Strop||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|May 13, 2013||Wei-Yin Chen||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 12, 2013||Nolan Reimold||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|May 12, 2013||Wei-Yin Chen||Day-to-Day||Right oblique strain|
|May 04, 2013||Miguel Gonzalez||15-Day DL||Right thumb blister|
|May 04, 2013||Miguel Gonzalez||15-Day DL||Right thumb blister|
BALTIMORE (AP) -- The sweat was dripping off Freddy Garcia 's size 54 jersey from the first inning through the eighth.
Yes, the 87 degree temperature made it a bit uncomfortable for the 250-pounder. On the positive side, the conditions served to make split-finger fastball virtually unhittable.
Garcia pitched eight innings of three-hit ball to get the best of Dan Haren in a duel of veteran right-handers, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Washington Nationals 2-0 Thursday night.
Nick Markakis hit an RBI double in the third inning and Manny Machado doubled in a run in the eighth for the Orioles, who took three of four from the Nationals in a home-and-home series that began Monday in Washington.
Making his sixth start for Baltimore, Garcia (2-2) struck out six, walked none and permitted only two runners past first base. The 36-year-old retired 17 of the first 19 batters he faced, including 14 straight after Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond each singled to open the second inning, and concluded his performance with seven consecutive outs.
"When it's hot like that," Garcia said, "the splitter's pretty good."
The Nationals went down in order in six of eight innings against Garcia, who changed his jersey two or three times during the course of the game, according to Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
"I think with the humidity, his fingers probably had a little sweat going on there," Desmond said. "That (split) was pretty unbelievable tonight, and he threw it a lot. He must have thrown 60 percent split fingers, which is very out of the ordinary."
Signed as a free agent by Baltimore in late March, Garcia toiled in the minors until being summoned by the Orioles on May 4. He has proven to be a very welcome addition to a team striving to reach the playoffs for a second straight season.
"He had his `A' game today," Machado said. "He brought out what he could do for this ballclub to help us win. He pitched a (heck) of a game, had all his pitches right."
Jim Johnson worked a perfect ninth for his 17th save, the second in two nights.
Haren (4-6) allowed two runs and eight hits over 7 1-3 innings but absorbed his third straight loss. The 32-year-old struck out five and walked none.
"I threw the ball well, but obviously I'm not happy with the end result," he said.
The pitching duel came after the neighboring teams combined for 35 runs, 65 hits and 14 homers in the previous three games.
"Both pitchers threw really, really well tonight," Baltimore's Nate McLouth said. "I don't think there was a walk in the game. That shows you, if you throw strikes, what can happen. They both pitched amazing."
The Orioles went up 1-0 in the third inning when Ryan Flaherty singled, took second on a single by Machado and scored on a two-out double by Markakis. Haren then struck out Adam Jones with runners at second and third.
"I was walking the tightrope in that one inning and made a good pitch to Adam Jones to get out of it," Haren said.
Washington, meanwhile, got only one runner past first base in the first six innings. In the second, after the singles by LaRoche and Desmond, both runners advanced on a groundout by Tyler Moore . Chad Tracy followed with a short fly ball to left and Kurt Suzuki popped out.
That began Garcia's run of 14 successive outs. It ended when Roger Bernadina singled with two outs in the sixth, but Ryan Zimmerman followed with a harmless grounder to second base.
In the eighth, McLouth hit a bloop to short right field and hustled into second for a double. Machado then chased Haren with a sharp grounder inside the third base line, his league-leading 25th double.
NOTES: Baltimore's Chris Davis went 0 for 3, ending a run of eight games in which he got a hit and scored a run. He was 18 for 30 with six homers during that span. ... Washington opens a three-game series against NL East-leading Atlanta on the road Friday. Stephen Strasburg gets the start for the Nationals. ... Baltimore begins a three-game set against the visiting Detroit Tigers on Friday night. Miguel Gonzalez (2-2) will pitch for the Orioles, and the Tigers will start Max Scherzer (7-0). ... Nationals OF Jayson Werth (hamstring strain) began his rehab assignment Wednesday by playing three innings for Class A Potomac. He was expected to go five innings on Thursday. ... Orioles C Taylor Teagarden (dislocated thumb) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk on Friday.