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Nats go quietly, not quickly in loss to Orioles

@feinsand
August 14, 2020

Five days later, things looked exactly the same. The Nationals dropped a 6-2 decision to the Orioles at Camden Yards on Friday as the two teams completed last Sunday’s suspended game.

Five days later, things looked exactly the same.

The Nationals dropped a 6-2 decision to the Orioles at Camden Yards on Friday as the two teams completed last Sunday’s suspended game.

Box score

Washington’s loss extended its losing streak to four, though thanks to the unusual circumstances surrounding the game, the Nationals had already snapped that skid.

That’s because the Nats won two straight at Citi Field on Monday and Tuesday, though they dropped the final two games of the four-game set. Stephen Strasburg -- who took the loss in the suspended game after allowing five runs over 4 1/3 innings -- will try to get Washington back in the win column in Friday night’s regularly scheduled game, hoping to avoid his second loss in less than six hours.

Sunday’s series finale at Nationals Park was suspended following a tarp mishap that resulted in a lengthy delay even after rain had stopped falling.

When the game resumed late Friday afternoon, the time of the delay was five days, two hours and 48 minutes. Despite being 44 miles from their home ballpark, the Nationals were still the home team when the game resumed.

“It's a little strange,” manager Dave Martinez said. “We’re in a visiting ballpark with [home] uniforms on; it’s different. We got to hit last, so that was different.”

Sam Freeman had been on the mound for the Nationals when it was halted Sunday, but he was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday with a strained left flexor mass. That didn’t stop his ERA from rising, however.

Kyle Finnegan took over when the game restarted, faced with a first-and-second one-out jam bequeathed to him by Freeman.

Finnegan nearly escaped after Pat Valaika flied out, but Bryan Holaday hit an infield single that plated Dwight Smith Jr., pushing the Orioles’ lead to 6-2 on a run charged to Freeman. That play proved quite costly for the Nationals, as Starlin Castro -- who made a play on the ball before rolling on his right arm -- suffered a broken right wrist on the play.

The Nationals had one brief glimmer of hope in the seventh after Trea Turner and Adam Eaton drew a pair of two-out walks against Miguel Castro. Wilmer Difo pinch-hit for Castro, trying to reach base to give Juan Soto a shot at tying the game.

Tanner Scott came in from the bullpen and blew Difo away with fastballs, striking him out to end the threat. Howie Kendrick pinch-hit for Difo with two runners on in the ninth, leading some to wonder why Kendrick wasn’t sent out to hit in that crucial seventh-inning spot.

“I want to save our best option for either a tie or a win,” Martinez said. “Howie is our best option. We had two outs at that point and we had a few more innings.”

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.