The Orioles’ taxed pitching staff was handed a one-night reprieve with a rainout Thursday at Nationals Park, giving the bullpen a breather ahead of the upcoming three-game series at the Kansas City Royals before a scheduled day off Monday.

It's a break from what has been a difficult stretch for the Orioles, compounded by short starts and young pitchers being required to deliver impeccable results in long relief only to be sent down to keep the pitching staff fresh.

Manager Buck Showalter had set the finish line for Monday, when they had a day off before a three-game set at the Detroit Tigers. Monday was touted as a possible makeup date for Thursday's game, but instead the Orioles will play the Nationals again on June 8 in Washington.


The day off will allow them to reset their pitching staff on several fronts. From the starting pitching side, Dylan Bundy will be pushed back a day to start Friday in Kansas City, with Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman  following him with an extra day of rest each.

In the bullpen, the rainout made for a natural rest day for Brad Brach, who has pitched eight times in two weeks and had made three appearances in four days. It will also give a day’s rest to Darren O’Day, who Showalter said wasn’t able to pitch Wednesday, and Mychal Givens, who had thrown back-to-back days.

That group could get a boost, too, from left-hander Jayson Aquino, who did not make his scheduled start for Triple-A Norfolk in Indianapolis on Thursday. Showalter mentioned him as a possibility to join the team, and he could meet the Orioles in Kansas City.

Scheduling the makeup game for June 8 instead of Monday — the only other mutual day off the teams share this season — will come as a relief to the Orioles.

The Nationals will be returning home at the end of a nine-game, 10-day West Coast road trip. But that was seen as the lesser of two evils when compared to the possibility of the Orioles returning from a Midwest road trip for one day, then going back.

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