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The rain was heavy and relentless. As the puddles grew deeper on the tarp at Nationals Park [url=http://www.denverbroncosteamonline.com/su_a-cravens-jersey]Authentic Su'a Cravens Jersey[/url] , the Baltimore Orioles were left to wonder if their bid for a rare road victory would be thwarted by, of all things, the weather.
During a season in which very little has worked in their favor, the Orioles withstood a long rain delay to beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night.
Baltimore led 2-0 after four innings when play was stopped. After a wait of 2 hours, 43 minutes, the game resumed with a few hundred fans from the announced crowd of 32,153 sprinkled around the lower seating bowl.
Mark Trumbo homered for Baltimore, and Andrew Cashner and four relievers combined on a five-hitter in a game that ended long after midnight.
”It was nice,” Trumbo said. ”I’m glad that we actually kept the game going. Had we not been able to, it might have been a wash. But it ended up being pretty big for us.”
Baltimore ended a six-game losing streak to Washington that began last May, won for only the fourth time in 20 games and improved the majors’ worst road record to 10-28.
This one was worth the wait.
”It’s never easy, especially when you get over the hour mark, two-hour mark,” Trumbo said. ”Then you have to restart. It’s almost two games in one, so, great job by our guys tonight.”
The Nationals managed only two hits following the delay, both in the ninth inning.
”It happens. You can’t do anything about the rain,” manager Dave Martinez said. ”You’ve got to come out and get yourself ready to play. I’m not going to make any excuses.”
The rain delay cut short a solid pitching performance by Cashner, who allowed three hits and no walks over four innings in his return from an 11-day stay on the disabled list with back spasms.
Miguel Castro (2-2) followed with two hitless innings, Darren O’Day pitched a perfect seventh and Zach Britton got four outs.
Brad Brach allowed the Nationals to load the bases with two outs in the ninth before striking out Mark Reynolds .
Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Gio Gonzalez (6-4), and for a while it appeared the drive would be washed out by the rain.
”One pitch. That was the whole game,” Gonzalez lamented. ”That was it.”
Indeed, it all ended well for the Orioles, who added a run in the sixth when Adam Jones doubled off Shawn Kelley and scored on a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia .
Nationals OF Bryce Harper went 0 for 4, dropping his batting average to .209.
Martinez said Harper has been working hard with batting coach Kevin Long, and the manager expects the five-time All-Star to end his prolonged slump with a flourish.
”He’s going to hit. I know he’s going to carry us for a month or two or for whatever,” Martinez said.
WAITING FOR DAVIS
Now in the third year of a seven-year, $161 million contract, Baltimore’s Chris Davis is batting .150 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 57 games. He last played on June 11, when he went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts against Boston.
Since then [url=http://www.denverbroncosteamonline.com/courtland-sutton-jersey]Authentic Courtland Sutton Jersey[/url] , Davis has been working on his swing and improving his mental outlook. His return appears imminent.
”A couple of days,” manager Buck Showalter said. ”We’re pretty close to it.”
With Cashner coming off the DL, the Orioles optioned infielder Corban Joseph to Double-A Bowie. That ended the 24-hour, feel-good story of Corban and catcher Caleb Joseph as brothers on the same team.
Orioles: 3B Tim Beckham (core surgery) went 1 for 4 with 3 strikeouts in a rehab game with Triple-A Norfolk. … RHP Chris Tillman (back) began his rehab assignment by giving up three runs in two innings for Class A Aberdeen.
Nationals: Martinez said patience is the key in awaiting the return of RHP Stephen Strasburg (shoulder). ”We’re really going to take our time and make sure he’s 100 percent,” the manager said. … 1B Ryan Zimmerman (oblique) is taking grounders and some swings. … C Matt Wieters (oblique) caught in the bullpen but is not yet running at full speed.
Orioles: Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.48 ERA) pitches the finale of the three-game series Wednesday night.
Nationals: Max Scherzer (10-3, 2.06) tries to avoid his first three-game losing streak since August 2015.
Hal Steinbrenner says his New York Yankees may need a starting pitching upgrade if they’re going to reach their first World Series since 2009.
Steinbrenner, the Yankees managing general partner, said Wednesday the club will explore the trade market for an arm, especially considering the recent loss of left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who had season-ending Tommy John surgery on June 7.
The Yankees entered Wednesday with the best record in baseball, narrowly ahead of AL East rival Boston. The club has space to acquire an impact player and still remain under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold, a goal the team has stated several times.
”Clearly starting pitching was always a concern,” Steinbrenner said, speaking to a small group of reporters at an owners’ meeting. ”It’s definitely one of the areas we’re going to be looking at.
”Purposely left a decent amount of money for just this,” he added. ”If we decide to go get a pitcher and if a pitcher’s available, I think we definitely have the flexibility that would allow me to do just that.”
Cole Hamels, Chris Archer and Madison Bumgarner are among the biggest names that could potentially be available at the deadline, but they would likely cost one or more of New York’s blue-chip prospects. Steinbrenner wants to be cautious about moving high-ceiling youngsters to beef up the rotation.
”It depends what the asks are. I mean, I love the young guys,” he said. ”Our fans love the young guys, and I think it’s obvious to all of us. They’ve made a heck of an impact, and to see Gleyber (Torres) and (Miguel) Andujar and others, you know, right off the heels of (Aaron) Judge and (Gary) Sanchez and (Luis) Severino, I mean it’s pretty amazing.”
The team does have internal options, and Steinbrenner said he’s willing to stick by some young, untested pitchers if needed. Jonathan Loaisiga will make his major league debut Friday, rookie Domingo German has held his own in six starts [url=http://www.denverbroncosteamonline.com/isaac-yiadom-jersey]Authentic Isaac Yiadom Jersey[/url] , and prospects Justus Sheffield, Chance Adams and Erik Swanson could get looks later this year, too.
”We’ve got some options for August, September, but again, we’re going to look at anything that comes across our desk,” Steinbrenner said.
OFF AND RUNNING
Steinbrenner praised first-year manager Aaron Boone, pleased with his performance thus far despite the rookie manager having no professional coaching experience prior to the season.
”Everything we could ask for. Calm, cool, collected,” Steinbrenner said. ”Players have a lot of respect for him. He’s been great in the clubhouse and he’s been great with his coaching staff, and the coaches he’s brought in have been good so I mean it’s as advertised.”
Giancarlo Stanton has been good, but not great, in his first year with the Yankees. He entered Wednesday batting .240 with 14 homers, 34 RBIs and a .797 OPS – compared to a 1.007 OPS when he won the NL MVP Award last season. Steinbrenner believes New York’s marquee offseason acquisition will crank up his production soon, though.
”He’s had ups and downs, but when he gets hot, he’ll carry a team,” Steinbrenner said. ”We’ve all seen that and it will happen. Work ethic is great. Worked his way right into the clubhouse in a great way, teammates like him, so he’s going to be great.”
New York has had eight games either postponed or suspended by poor weather already this season. If that wasn’t enough of an inconvenience, they’ve also encountered their share of travel snafus- which included having to spend a night at Dulles International Airport in mid-May due to weather and a problem with the plane.
As an experienced pilot himself, Steinbrenner understands that air travel can be an inexact science.
”We all fly commercial and even small jets, even my plane has problems from time to time and I fly a dinky little propeller plane,” he said. ”So you start to get into these airliners, I mean they’re complex from the avionics to the life support systems to the engines to the hydraulics. They’re just complicated machines. … It’s obviously air transportation, very reliable and very safe. But it’s very safe and very reliable because they don’t take a plane up if it’s not close to a hundred percent, right?”
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