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Nationals fall to Braves following ridiculously long rain delay

Nationals fall to Braves following ridiculously long rain delay

The Washington Nationals told their fans to expect water Thursday night, and after three hours of waiting under storm-less skies, they finally delivered.

The Nationals delayed their series opener against the Atlanta Braves for 3 hours, 5 minutes despite negligible rain. As a reward for fans who stuck around, Washington gave away free soda, ice cream, and yes, water.

Atlanta beat Washington 5-2 when play resumed. The game ended at 1:20 a.m.

"For 15 minutes of rain, that's unbelievable," Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez said. "I'm talking to you at 1:30 in the morning right now for a 15-minute delay."

MORE NATS: HARPER TO PLAY IN 2018 HOME RUN DERBY

The Nationals' scheduled game Wednesday night against the New York Mets was postponed amid a downpour and after a delay of 1 hour, 55 minutes, but only a very brief shower hit Nationals Park on Thursday before first pitch was thrown at 10:10 p.m.

"That's a first for me," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "Kind of frustrating."

The grounds crew didn't put the tarp on the infield until 74 minutes after scheduled first pitch. Light rain eventually fell, but only for a couple of minutes.

After the delay reached 2 1/2 hours, the Nationals posted a statement on the video scoreboard saying, "It is our sincere hope that we will be able to play tonight's game. The weather system that we have been monitoring is beginning to reach the ballpark & should pass through shortly. ... Thank you for your patience."

Despite the warning, the grounds crew removed the dry tarp 10 minutes later, and players began warming up in the outfield.

During the delay, a tweet from Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte read, "This No-Rain delay is something I've never seen before!!" When someone suggested he and his teammates take advantage of the break with some slip-and-slide fun on the tarp, Inciarte responded, "Can't. The tarp is dry."

Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz and Gonzalez pitched as scheduled with a smattering of fans remaining.

"It was a weird night, but we got through it with a win and that's all we can do," Foltynewicz said.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.