WASHINGTON — On the eve of the longest day of the summer, the Orioles actually had occasion to enjoy one of the longest nights they'll face all season, a 3-0 win over the host Washington Nationals that was interrupted by a two-hour, 43-minute rain delay.
“I'm glad that we actually kept the game going,” said first baseman Mark Trumbo, whose second-inning home run staked the Orioles to an early lead in a game that ended well after midnight. “I think had we not been able to, it might have been a wash. But you know, it ended up being pretty big for us.”
Trumbo's two-run home run, his fifth of the year, came after a rare bunt hit from Jonathan Schoop early in the second inning. It ultimately decided the game long before it was completed, let alone resumed.
“It was a great baseball play,” Trumbo said. “It caught me a little off-guard, but a great time for it, too. Last time we faced Gio [Gonzalez], he did a really nice job. I think it was kind of unexpected, but gave us a nice boost of momentum.”
Still, Trumbo’s proved to be the only swing that mattered for a 21-51 Orioles team that rapped out eight hits — including four for extra-bases and two by the hot-hitting Adam Jones— and allowed just five.
The first four innings belonged to Andrew Cashner, who returned from the disabled list with four three-hit shutout innings. The Nationals threatened him only in the first inning, when teenage phenom Juan Soto doubled and went to third on a single by Anthony Rendon, but Trumbo started a double play at first base to end the inning.
On the slide at second base, Rendon's flailing arms caught Orioles shortstop Manny Machado in the face with an elbow — providing the most tense moment of the game for the Orioles as they waited for him to get up from the infield dirt.
Were it not for the delay, which at 2:43 ran longer than 15 Orioles games did this season and outlasted the actual game action Wednesday by nine minutes, it would have been one of the simplest games they've had in this complicated season.
Instead, manager Buck Showalter said, “there was a lot of sitting around.”
Only two complicating factors existed — the delay, which forced Cashner from the game in the fifth inning (but not before he batted for himself), and the bases-loaded situation Brad Brach created when charged with getting the game’s final two outs.
In between, Miguel Castro began what would be five scoreless innings of Orioles relief with two shutout innings before Darren O'Day pitched a scoreless seven. Zach Britton fanned two in a a scoreless eighth and came back to face the first batter of the ninth to mark his first multi-inning outing in the majors this season before passing it off to Brach.
The right-hander allowed two singles and issued a walk, but struck out former Oriole Mark Reynolds with the bases loaded, securing the team’s 10th road win of the season against 28 losses and ending the Nationals’ six-game winning streak in the regional rivalry.