The concourse looked like a ghost town, with concessions boarded up and the ushers long since dismissed.

Rain pelted Camden Yards for hours. The Orioles and Royals had to make every effort to get the game in, because Kansas City will not be returning to Baltimore this year. Some fans strolled the concourse on repeat. Others found a dry spot and settled in for the long haul. The Orioles hung out in the clubhouse, anxiously checking radar and wondering when the rain was going to leave.

Finally, five hours after the game was supposed to start Wednesday, the teams took the field, but only a few hundred people remained as first pitch arrived at 6:05 p.m. Fans, happy finally to see some action or perhaps delusional from the hours in the stadium, skipped through the concourse.

Assigned seats were thrown out the window, many rushing down to get as close to the action as possible. Just one fan remained in the upper deck. That was his seat, and he didn’t want to give it up.

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Others, like David Kemp, moved to the third base side to have a better chance of getting foul balls. It was his day off, so he killed the delay by strolling the nearly empty stadium and taking in aspects that he wouldn’t be able to get close to on a normal day.

“I’ve been through this so many times, so I’m used to it,” Kemp, a native of the city, said. “This is typical Baltimore weather.”

When the game finally started, only about a dozen fans sat in the bird bath next to the bullpens in left-center. Kevin Hook and his 8-year-old son, Brandon, were supposed to be in that section. They stuck it out all day — they had made the drive from Delaware for their first game of the season, and Brandon wanted to watch Gunnar Henderson.

But they did not, after five hours in the cold, see a reason to make themselves any more miserable. And, after all, with the sky still misting and the seats sopping wet, the whole stadium was now in the splash zone.

Even manager Brandon Hyde would have gone home if he were a fan.

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“That’s a tough day to watch baseball,” Hyde said. “It had to be a little bit uncomfortable. It was cold. ... For those people to stick around, those are true Orioles fans.”

When the game started, it took the Orioles time to find their footing. It finally came at the end, as the Orioles walked it off to beat the Royals 4-3.

Corbin Burnes, making his second start for the Orioles, opened with a strikeout. Bobby Witt Jr. hit a double but later tried to come home and was caught in a rundown and called out, much to the dismay of Royals manager Matt Quatraro.

“Bobby Witt Jr. is out!” one of the few fans remaining shouted repeatedly. “I know you can hear me.”

Ryan Mountcastle of the Orioles tags out Bobby Witt Jr. of the Royals during a first-inning rundown. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Yes, kid. With so few in attendance, we could all hear you.

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The game, and the precipitation, continued. Salvador Perez singled later in the first, bringing in one run. Witt got another single in the third and scored on a single from Perez. That would be all Burnes would allow in 5 2/3 innings.

“Credit to that Royals lineup for not going down easy with two strikes,” Burnes said. “It seemed like any time we got to two strikes they put up a fight. ... We were able to battle. Almost got through six innings with what we were dealt, so definitely proud of that and proud of these guys for coming back for a win.”

Cole Ragans, meanwhile, was dealing. In 6 1/3 innings he allowed just one hit — a double from Adley Rutschman in the fourth — using his 98 mph four-seam fastball and changeup that left the Orioles dazed.

“That’s a big-time, No. 1 arm,” Hyde said. “We did nothing against him.”

The fans who sat through five hours stuck around, hoping for a ray of sunshine from the offense. They got a glimmer in the eighth, Colton Cowser hitting a single and James McCann following with a double. The Orioles scored two runs that inning to get within one of the Royals.

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Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson adjusts his mask before the start of the game Wednesday at Camden Yards. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Finally, in the bottom of the ninth, the rain started to subside. The fans had been standing for most of the game, long ago giving up hope that their seats would dry, but now they were jumping. The Orioles loaded the bases.

McCann stepped up. He let two balls go by, then sent a fastball into left field. Ryan Mountcastle rounded home to tie it, then Cedric Mullins made it around safely for the winning run.

It came five hours later than anyone anticipated. But, for these fans, there was a shinning moment at the end of a dreadful day.

“I’m glad that we hung out, especially with the outcome,” McCann said. “I’m glad that we grinded through it and found a way to get to this game.”

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College.

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