- - Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Before this season began Sports Illustrated picked the Washington Nationals to beat the New York Yankees in the 2018 World Series.

And before Tuesday’s game between the two teams, Nationals slugger Bryce Harper was asked about the powerful Yankees lineup.

“They are a good lineup, one of the best,” he said.

But neither team came away with a win Tuesday, as the game was suspended by rain tied at 3-3 going into the bottom of the sixth inning. And it was Harper, hitless in his first two at-bats, who was due to bat in the sixth for the Nationals when the game was halted.

The game is considered official by Major League Baseball and the game will resume at 5:05 p.m. on Wednesday. The regularly-scheduled game between the Nationals and Yankees is slated for 7:05 p.m., or once the suspended game is completed.

The Nationals took a 1-0 lead in the first Tuesday on a solo home run to left by Anthony Rendon against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka.

Washington made it 3-0 in the second on an RBI single by Andrew Stevenson and a run-scoring double by Pedro Severino. Stevenson got the start in center over Michael A. Taylor, who got the night off, while Severino is now the starting catcher after Matt Wieters went on the disabled list Friday with a left hamstring strain.

The Yankees cut the lead to 3-2 as Tyler Austin hit a two-run home ruin the fourth off Washington starter Gio Gonzalez.

New York then tied the game in the fifth at 3-3 as a light rain began to fall. Austin hit a sacrifice fly to center with the bases loaded to drive in Giancarlo Stanton, who had singled for his 1,00th career hit earlier in the frame.

Gonzalez escaped further damage as he got Miguel Andujar to groundout to end the inning with two runners on base. In five innings Gonzalez gave up six hits and three runs — two earned —  with four walks and five strikeouts while throwing 111 pitches.

The game was stopped just after 9 p.m. and fans were able to watch the Washington Capitals game on the screen before the stadium was cleared.

It was the first visit to Nationals Park for the Yankees since 2015. In that series, the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman hit a walk-off homer against Andrew Miller on May 19, 2015.

It was the 10th walkoff home run in the career of Zimmerman, who has not hit one since. Zimmerman went on the disabled list this past weekend with a right oblique strain. He was replaced on the roster by former University of Virginia teammate Mark Reynolds, who started at first base Tuesday.

Eaton hopes to return soon

Adam Eaton, who began the season in the starting lineup, said before the game he is encouraged after undergoing knee surgery Thursday.

“I feel great. I am in really good spirits,” said Eaton, 29, sitting at his locker in the Nationals clubhouse.

The Ohio native started this season as the team’s starting left fielder, but he made an awkward slide into home plate in early April as he scored from first base on a double against the New York Mets.

The left-handed hitting speedster was put on the disabled list on April 11 with a bone bruise on his left ankle. He was then transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Friday, which means he is not eligible to play until around mid-June.

In other injury news, second baseman Daniel Murphy has reported to Florida and could play soon in minor league games, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Tuesday. Murphy has not played in a big league game this season after he had knee surgery in October. The left-handed hitter joined the Nationals in time for the 2016 season as a free agent from the New York Mets.

He hit .347 with 25 homers in 2016 and he batted .322 with 23 homers last season.

Scherzer set to face Yanks

The Nationals, weather permitting, are slated to host the Yankees on Wednesday night with ace right-hander Max Scherzer (7-1, 1.69) facing CC Sabathia (2-0, 2.23) of New York.

It will be the eighth career start for Scherzer against the Yankees, who had not faced Washington since 2015. Sabathia has started three times against the Nationals, with the last coming June 16, 2009 at Nationals Park.

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