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Nationals grounds crew struggles to deploy tarp

WASHINGTON -- When it rained in the top of the sixth inning of the Washington Nationals' game against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday, it really poured on the infield dirt, because the grounds crew had trouble unrolling the giant tarp used to protect the diamond.

The cover got twisted, so the 15 members of the Nationals Park crew needed more than 15 minutes to get the entire thing spread out over the dirt -- and even then, it was upside-down, with a sponsor logo facing the ground.

There were large puddles between the bases.

In all, a process usually completed in just a couple of minutes took more than 20 for the tarp to be properly put in place. And by then, the shower was done anyway and the sun was peeking through the clouds.

The Orioles were leading 5-2 when the delay arrived, having done all their scoring in the fifth inning against Stephen Strasburg, the World Series MVP who returned from a nerve issue in his pitching hand to make his season debut.

The game was eventually suspended with the same score. It will resume Friday at Camden Yards in Baltimore, but the Nationals will remain the home team.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.