Game at Nationals Park suspended after five innings
By Andrew Simon
WASHINGTON -- The Dodgers' second half got off to an unusual start on Friday night, as their game against the Nationals was suspended after five innings when a bank of lights at Nationals Park went out for the third time, with Los Angeles trailing, 3-2. The game was resumed on Saturday, with the Nationals winning, 5-3.
The teams will play their regularly scheduled contest at 1:05 p.m. or 20 minutes after the conclusion of the first game, whichever is later. So the Dodgers, beginning a 10-game, three-city East Coast road trip, will have to play at least 13 innings in one day.
"We'll go get them tomorrow. It's a great day to play two," third baseman Justin Turner joked.
"I'm just glad they're not making us start over," Turner added. "Hey, if we had to start off the second half any way, that's how I would have drawn it up. … As if the road trip wasn't going to be long enough."
The game was suspended rather than considered complete due to Rule 4.12 (a) (3), which provides for a suspended game when the stoppage in play results from "Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club." The Dodgers received approval from Major League Baseball to add a 26th man to the roster for the second game.
The bank of lights first went out with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning and the Dodgers leading, 2-1. That caused a one-hour, 22-minute delay, which almost forced the exit of Los Angeles starter Mike Bolsinger. However, Bolsinger was able to stay in when play resumed and recorded two outs to get out of the inning before the Dodgers pinch-hit for him to begin the fifth.
"An hour and 20 minutes, realistically, that's a long time to be sitting around doing nothing," Bolsinger said. "You start stiffening up. With me getting older nowadays -- I'm not 21 years old -- you start feeling things."
Bolsinger also had a scare in the third inning when he came off the mound to field Danny Espinosa's slow grounder, stumbled and did a barrel roll across the infield. By the time he recovered, his throw was too late, and a trainer came out to check on Bolsinger's left leg. He stayed in the game.
"Kind of lost my footing and twisted the knee a little bit," he said. "I think I was more in panic mode, because back in college, that's how I tore my meniscus, doing the exact same thing. So it's more just me being worried at the time, but everything's fine."
The game resumed for only nine minutes, then was delayed again prior to the bottom of the fifth. That one lasted 40 minutes. After another half-inning, during which Yunel Escobar's two-run homer off Chin-hui Tsao gave Washington the lead, the lights went out a third time.
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.