Kansas City Royals

Royals-Red Sox rubber match suspended in the 10th inning

Royals’ Ned Yost on win over Red Sox, Jakob Junis and Jorge Soler

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost speaks with reporters following a 6-2 win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Aug. 6, 2019. Pitcher Jakob Junis allowed one run in six innings, and slugger Jorge Soler hit his 30th and 31st homers.
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Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost speaks with reporters following a 6-2 win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Aug. 6, 2019. Pitcher Jakob Junis allowed one run in six innings, and slugger Jorge Soler hit his 30th and 31st homers.

After nearly two hours of waiting, watching the rain, waiting, checking the radar, waiting, playing cards, waiting and eating some soft-serve ice cream, the Royals got the news everyone figured had to come sooner or later. Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox had finally been suspended.

The Royals will have to make a return trip to Boston to finish the game on Thursday, Aug. 22, which was originally an off-day between road series in Baltimore and Cleveland.

“The best solution is to play a game 163 if needed,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “That’s the smart thing to do, but if MLB wants us to come back that day it’s really convenient for us. We play three games in Baltimore, of course we have a night game there too on a getaway day. I don’t know how we’ll work that but we’ll come in here, play, start at 1 o’clock, finish this game and then go on to Cleveland.”

Nicky Lopez’s seventh-inning RBI double tied the score 4-4 and it stayed that way into the top of the 10th inning when the rain forced the game into a delay at 10:47 p.m. Eastern Time. By that point most of the announced 32,453 at Fenway Park had left.

The game remained in a delay for one hour, 49 minutes, before the suspension was announced with Royals catcher Meibrys Viloria batting against Red Sox reliever Josh Taylor with a 2-1 count and no outs.

The Royals continued their 10-game road trip on Thursday night in Detroit. Right-hander Jorge Lopez (1-7, 6.19) is scheduled to make the spot start, while left-hander Matthew Boyd (6-8, 3.91) is listed as the Tigers starter.

“We were just hanging out, wondering if we were going to play again,” Lopez said of the delay. “If not — we were checking the radar obviously — it didn’t look good. We were just wondering how late it was going to be, how late were going to wait, how late we were going to get into Detroit.”

Lopez chuckled slightly at the suggestion that the entire delay was his fault, since his double off Red Sox flame-throwing reliever Nathan Eovaldi tied the score. The Royals trailed 4-2 after the fifth inning, but rallied runs in the sixth and seventh.

“It was good that we tied it up,” Lopez said. “We put some at-bats together. We were down a couple and fought back and tied it up. Obviously, we don’t want to be here all night, but it’s good. We could’ve lost.”

Viloria had two hits and drove in two runs, while Whit Merrifield and Lopez also drove in runs.

Royals starting pitcher Glenn Sparkman allowed four runs on seven hits (one home run) and three walks to go along with five strikeouts. He threw 91 pitches without getting through the fifth inning and had runners on base in each inning.

Sparkman has gone five or fewer innings in each of his past three starts. He’s given up 18 earned runs in those three starts.

Royals relievers Tim Hill (1 1/3 innings), Kevin McCarthy (1 1/3 innings), Scott Barlow (1.0 inning) and Jake Newberry (1.0 inning) provided scoreless relief before handing it off to Jake Newberry in the ninth inning.

“Sparky made a couple mistakes he paid for to the tune of four runs, but Timmy Hill came in and did great,” Yost said. “Mac did great. Newberry did good once the rain started. Because of the weather and because of the suspended game, Newberry is still the pitcher of record. When we come if we want to send him back on the mound, we can. (Richard) Lovelady was not available today, but he may be on the 22nd so that will play into the equation some too.”

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.
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