WASHINGTON—After waiting more than two hours, the Orioles and Washington Nationals will have to wait until Friday to complete Sunday’s game. Because of a malfunctioning tarp, the grounds crew wasn’t able to cover the field after a pop-up shower, and it was determined that the field was unplayable.
The Orioles were trying for their first three-game road sweep since August 25-27, 2017 in Boston and had a 5-2 lead when the rain came in the top of the sixth inning.
The game will be resumed Friday at Oriole Park before the regularly scheduled Nationals-Orioles game. Washington will be the home team.
“The field was unplayable,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “There’s a rule in there … if there’s a mechanical failure with the tarp, the game is suspended. They can’t get the field ready to play. That’s what happened.”
Hyde said all parties agreed the field was unplayable. He also said he was unaware of the rule that a mechanical failure can cause a suspension.
“There were some soft areas,” Hyde said of the field.
The rain began falling heavily and play was called at 2:41 p.m. The Nationals Park grounds crew attempted to cover the field, but the tarp got tangled and for 20 minutes. By the time they were able to cover the field, the rain had stopped, and the infield was a quagmire.
For more than 90 minutes, the grounds crew worked on the field but it had taken on too much rain.
“It’s disappointing that we had the lead, and I felt good about the bullpen situation the last half of the game,” Hyde said. “It’s disappointing we couldn’t finish it today.”
With John Means on bereavement leave after the death of his father, and the Orioles needing a starter. Hyde called on Asher Wojciechowski, who pitched five innings in the second games of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
Wojciechowski was pulled after 3 2/3 scoreless innings with runners on first and second.
Stephen Strasburg, in his first start of 2020, allowed singles to Hanser Alberto in the first and Dwight Smith Jr. in the second, but pitched four scoreless innings.
In the fifth with one out, Austin Hays and Chance Sisco singled, Pat Valaika walked, and Hays scored on Bryan Holaday’s single.
Alberto doubled just past third base, scoring Sisco and Valaika. Anthony Santander, who hit a three-run home run in Saturday night’s five-run eighth inning, hit a two-run single for another five-run inning.
“It feels like about six hours ago,” Hyde said about the fifth inning. “We really battled well. Strasburg was good the first four. We got to him in the fifth. It was a real gutsy performance by our starter, Wojo, escaping some trouble early, pitching into the fourth inning. He did a really nice job.”
Travis Lakins, who relieved Wojciechowski and retired Yan Gomes on a fly to Hays in center, could get the win if the Orioles hang on.
Shawn Armstrong, who won Saturday night’s game with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, gave up a two-run home run to Starlin Castro in the fifth, cutting the Orioles’ lead to 5-2.
Sisco had just walked with one out in the sixth, putting runners on first and second when time was called.
“Our guys were ready to play,” Hyde said. “It’s just unfortunate that things happened the way they happened. Sometimes you have to deal with some adversity. Life throws you curveballs. We’ll finish the game up next weekend.”
Orioles claim Lopez: The Orioles claimed right-handed pitcher Jorge López on waivers from the Kansas City Royals. Lopez, a 27-year-old right-hander, was a second-round choice by Milwaukee in 2011.
Lopez, who was designated for assignment by the Royals, allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning in his only appearance of the season on July 25th.
In parts of five seasons with the Brewers and Kansas City, Lopez is 7-15 with a 5.97 ERA.
Lopez’s addition fills the 40-man roster and 60-man player pool.
Severino sits: Catcher Pedro Severino was hit on his left wrist in the ninth inning of Saturday’s game. Holaday started on Sunday.
“He’s pretty sore from last night,” Hyde said. Chris Davis and José Iglesias were rested with the Orioles off on Monday. Hyde mentioned that he wanted to rest Iglesias, who has missed time because of a sore quad.
Coming up: After Monday’s offday, the Orioles play three games at Philadelphia beginning Tuesday. Alex Cobb and Zack Wheeler are the scheduled pitchers on Tuesday. It’s Wade LeBlanc and Zach Elfin on Wednesday, and the Orioles haven’t decided on their pitcher for Thursday afternoon’s game, which begins at 4:05. Jake Arrieta will pitch for the Phillies.