The Washington Nationals defeated the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 on Saturday night, with yet another dominant performance from the pitching staff. Starter Edwin Jackson joined three rotation mates with an ERA lower than 3.00 on the year after his strong showing, and new closer Tyler Clippard shut the door for his twelfth save in twelve tries. Clippard's strong performance since being named stopper for Washington finally prompted manager Davey Johnson to discuss what will return when incumbent closer Drew Storen returns from an elbow injury.
Via Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Johnson's thoughts on Clippard and the closer role:
"Right now he's my closer, and the way he's going I can't see going to somebody else," Johnson said. "They'd have to show me up here probably in a setup role before they have the opportunity to close."
Clippard has struck out 16 batters and allowed just one hit in 13 1/3 innings since taking over the ninth inning on May 22. Storen is still progressing through his rehab, finally facing live batters on Friday. The team hopes to have him back after the All-Star break.
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