- - Thursday, June 21, 2018

Arlington resident Steven Zaret, 63, sat in the last row of section 116 at behind the third-base dugout at Nationals Park a few minutes before midnight Wednesday.

In the first year as partial season ticket holder, Zaret waited out a rain delay of nearly three hours to watch the Washington Nationals get blanked 3-0 by the visiting Baltimore Orioles in a game that ended at 12:24 a.m. Thursday.

“We ate at a restaurant (inside the stadium) and walked around,” Zaret said of time spent during the rain delay. “I figured they would start again.”

The game ended as Mark Reynolds of the Nationals came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the last of the ninth against Orioles reliever Brad Brach. Reynolds struck out looking to end the game.

The Nationals (39-33) had won the previous six games against the Orioles (21-51), including the first four this season. Washington has lost five of its last six games overall.

The game was delayed by rain for two hours, 43 minutes and resumed at 10:50 p.m. with a few hundred fans in the stands, most in clumps behind the Nationals first-base dugout and the Orioles third-base digs.

Fans were allowed to sit wherever they wanted to after the delay. The announced attendance was 32,153 but nearly all of those fans had left by the time the game resumed.

The Nationals announced on the scoreboard that the game would resume at 10:50 and soon after that the scoreboard gave a message that the last train would leave the Navy Yard station a few minutes after 11 p.m. for Greenbelt. Later on, there was a message that the last Green Line train would leave at 11:48 p.m. for Branch Avenue, which was of little help for those fans who wanted to stay until the bitter end.

The Orioles led 2-0 on a Mark Trumbo homer when the rain delay began, and then made it 3-0 in the top of the sixth as Danny Valencia drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

That run came off reliever Shawn Kelley, who came on to pitch the fifth after starter Gio Gonzalez (6-4) did not return after the rain delay.

Orioles starter Andrew Cashner went four scoreless innings and did not give up a run. A group of five Baltimore relievers combined to stymie the Nationals over the last five innings.

The Nationals were held to five hits and missed a chance to gain ground on the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

Washington center fielder Bryce Harper was 0-for-4 and his average fell to .209. He did line out hard to the first baseman to lead off the ninth against Orioles reliever Zach Britton.

Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, who has been on a tear, had two hits and raised his average to .283. Since May 23 he ranks first in the league in doubles with 13, including another one Wednesday.

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