Tyler Wells, Orioles blank Nationals in rain-shortened game

Austin Hays hit for the cycle and starting pitcher Tyler Wells threw five shutout innings as the Baltimore Orioles defeated the visiting Washington Nationals 7-0 in a rain-shortened game Wednesday night.

Hays went 4-for-4, completing the cycle with a sixth-inning double with rain coming down. He became the franchise’s sixth player to hit for the cycle, though all the others achieved the feat in the seventh inning or later.

This game lasted just six innings as it didn’t resume after a second rain delay.

Anthony Santander and Trey Mancini also homered.

Wells (5-4) won his third consecutive start and his fourth straight decision. It was his 14th start of the season and just the third time he didn’t yield a run.

Rookie reliever Nick Vespi was credited with his first save by pitching one inning without allowing a hit.

Nationals starter Patrick Corbin (3-10) gave up seven hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out six.

It was a much-needed result at the end of a 3-2 homestand for the Orioles, who are scheduled for their next 10 games on the road.

After only three hits in a shutout loss a night earlier, the Orioles managed three first-inning hits Wednesday.

Hays led off with an infield single and Mancini followed with a single. One out later, Ryan Mountcastle drilled a run-scoring double to right field.

Hays led off the third with a home run for his 10th long ball of the season. One out later, Santander blasted his 13th homer.

Corbin has surrendered 13 home runs in 73 2/3 innings this season.

Hays tripled with two outs in the fourth inning, but didn’t score.

There was a rain delay prior to the bottom of the fifth. In the sixth, Hays continued his huge performance with a two-run double. Mancini followed with a two-run homer.

The Nationals and Orioles will meet for two more games in mid-September in Washington.