WASHINGTON — After hitting a single to snap an 0-for-23 skid, lining a two-run homer to right field and coming up about 10 feet short of a grand slam to center field, Tyler Austin was asked late Tuesday night how it felt to get going offensively.
“Well, the game’s not over yet,” Austin said.
Indeed, it isn’t. The Yankees did their best to beat both the Washington Nationals and the inclement weather on Tuesday night, but could not succeed on either count.
Thanks to Austin, who accounted for all their offense, the Yankees rallied to tie the Nationals, 3-3, just before heavy rain forced the suspension of the game after five and a half innings. The teams are scheduled to continue the game on Wednesday at 5:05 p.m., ahead of the regularly scheduled 7:05 p.m. game.
However, the chances of getting either game in might require some divine intervention: Forecasts show at least an 80 percent chance of rain from 3 p.m. through midnight on Wednesday.
Manager Aaron Boone said that if the games were not played Wednesday, the Yankees would still be on a flight Thursday to Kansas City for a weekend series there beginning Friday.
“Obviously the forecast, we know, doesn’t look great,” Boone said. “All we can do is hope that something breaks up for us.”
The Yankees have been affected by the weather this season almost as much as any other team as they have raced to a 28-12 record, the best in baseball.
Their home opener was snowed out, they had two games rained out in Detroit — both will be made up with a doubleheader next month — and the start of their game Sunday at home against Oakland was delayed by 2 hours and 45 minutes because of rain.
The Yankees were spared a loss on Tuesday after falling behind by 3-0 by the end of the second inning: Washington got a solo home run by Anthony Rendon in the first, then a run-scoring single by Andrew Stevenson followed by a double from Pedro Severino that brought home Stevenson in the second. After that, Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka moved to the stretch and retired the final nine batters in order.
The Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez — and some shaky defense — gave the Yankees a path back into the game. Didi Gregorius, mired in a 1-for-39 slump, reached to begin the fourth when Stevenson, the center fielder, cut in front of left fielder Matt Adams and dropped the ball. Austin followed by driving a 3-2 curveball over the right-field wall.
The Yankees got even in the fifth when Gonzalez walked Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez on either side of a bloop single by Giancarlo Stanton — the 1,000th hit of his career. But they could only manage one run, as Gregorius grounded to first baseman Mark Reynolds, who threw home for a force on Judge before Austin flied out to deep center, bringing home Stanton easily to tie the score. Miguel Andujar grounded to third to end the inning.
When Tanaka retired the Nationals in order in the fifth, the game became official — if incomplete. Players in both clubhouses described it as strange to be leaving the ballpark having played a game that did not yet have a result.
“It’s still 3-3,” Gonzalez said tersely. “See you tomorrow.”
Tyler Kepner contributed reporting.