Following two weather delay announcements that prevented the first pitch from being thrown Saturday night, the Orioles' game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Camden Yards was postponed because of inclement weather.
The club announced no makeup date, but the Rays make a return trip to Baltimore from June 24-26. The makeup date should be announced within the next week.
The teams share a mutual day off on June 23, before that series begins, but it would require major league and players union approval because of rules that prevent teams from playing games on more than 20 consecutive days. Because of that, the game would likely be made up as part of a split doubleheader on either June 24 or 25.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before the game that the club had been monitoring the weather since early in the day and his players were prepared to play. The Orioles have endured more than four hours of rain delays this week -- including 2 hours, 51 minutes on Opening Day -- but were able to get their first four games of the season in before having to postpone Saturday's contest.
"It's going to be cold, but we play games," Showalter said. "It's what we do. We take a lot of things into consideration to make sure it's OK for the fans. You look at what the forecast is at 10-11 o'clock. You look at a lot of factors. I know I get asked about it from a competitive standpoint and I'm sure there's some other factors that are involved. There are a lot of things that go into it."
A mix of rain and snow hit Camden Yards before Saturday's scheduled 7:05 p.m start, prompting the Orioles to move the first pitch back to 7:40. But at 7:39 p.m., heavy showers forced the tarp back onto the field, delaying the start again. At 7:53 p.m., the game was officially postponed.
Just south of Baltimore, the Washington Nationals postponed their 4:05 p.m. game shortly after noon. The Orioles' Double-A affiliate in Bowie also had it's scheduled 6:35 p.m. game rained out Saturday night.
"I think more often than not the waiting certain helps because the predictor of nature or weather is so hit or miss. It's so inconsistent," said Greg Bader, Orioles vice president of communications and marketing. "The issue tonight is such that while we knew it would be cold and windy and the forecast was calling for really cold, windy weather, the forecast was also saying around mid-day that by the time the game started, we'd be fine, that we weren't expecting precipitation.
"And it wasn't until much closer to game time that it became obvious that there would be precipitation. It's just yet another example of how unpredictable things can be."
Rays first baseman Logan Morrison wasn't a fan of the decision to try to play.
"They said we were starting on time," Morrison said. "Then they said, 'Well, let's wait, hold on.' Then they said 7:40. And then the next update was, 'It's over, it's done.' They canceled a game 30 minutes away at 1 o'clock today. Just saying. Baseball was not meant to be played in this weather, so why try it?''
Both starting pitchers -- Orioles right-hander Mike Wright and left-hander Drew Smyly -- went through full pregame warmup routines before the game was postponed.
Right-hander Vance Worley will be the Orioles starting pitcher in Sunday afternoon's series finale. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi will also remain the Rays' Sunday starter.
Fans can exchange tickets to Saturday's game for Sunday afternoon's finale against the Rays on a dollar-for-dollar basis at the Orioles box office, which opens at 11 a.m. Sunday. Fans unable to attend Sunday's game are encouraged by the team to keep their tickets until a makeup date is announced.
Those fans who are unable to go to the makeup game can exchange their tickets for any remaining Orioles home game this season on a dollar-for-dollar basis. All exchanges are subject to availability and must be completed by June 25.
Tickets purchased on StubHub are nonexchangeable and must either be used for the makeup or resold on StubHub when the makeup is announced.