The regional rivals played a well-pitched, defensive baseball game that went into extra innings. The Orioles won the game 2-1 in the 11th inning after the Nationals could not successfully mount a comeback in response to Nick Markakis' impressive solo home run in the top half of the frame.
Friday's game should set the tone for another great series. The record in interleague games between the two teams is now 20-17 in favor of the Orioles. And for once, this series means something. Both teams are above .500 entering the series for the first time since their interleague rivalry began in 2006.
But there is much more importance attached to the Nationals and Orioles than simply how they perform in an interleague series. Here are five reasons why the success of both the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles is imperative for Major League Baseball.