ALCS: Rain postpones Game 3 between Orioles, Royals
Rescheduled for Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. ET
The last two times the Kansas City Royals played a post-season game at home, rain fell after the final out. This time, it started well before the first pitch.
Game 3 of the AL Championship Series between the Royals and Baltimore Orioles was postponed Monday because of steady rain that saturated Kauffman Stadium. The game was rescheduled for Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. ET.
Along with steady rain, wind gusts of 25 mph were buffeting the ballpark. The forecast for Tuesday is cold and windy but dry, with weather improving the rest of the week.
"We want a game we know we can get through nine innings, hopefully play dry baseball, not risk player safety or uncomfortable fans," Major League Baseball Senior Vice-President Peter Woodfork said about 4 hours before the scheduled first pitch.
The Royals, who lead the best-of-seven series 2-0, will keep former Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie on the mound for Game 3. The Orioles will start Wei-Yin Chen, as planned.
After that, rotations become a little murky.
Royals manager Ned Yost said he'll decide before Tuesday night's game whether to stick with left-hander Jason Vargas for Game 4 on Wednesday or call for an audible and pitch Game 1 starter James Shields on regular rest. That game is scheduled to start at 4:07 p.m. EDT.
"Guthrie will throw tomorrow, and then we'll go from there," Yost said. "Shields can come back or if we feel like we want to give him another day, we can do that, too."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter was facing a similar conundrum. Miguel Gonzalez was slated to start Game 4, but Chris Tillman could return on regular rest. He opposed Shields when the Royals beat the Orioles in extra innings in the series opener.
"He's on normal rest, so yeah, he's an option," Showalter said. "That'd be five (days), right? But I wouldn't commit to anything right now other than Chen and see where we are."
It's not a slam-dunk decision for Yost and Showalter to go with their aces. Shields and Tillman struggled Friday night, neither lasting past the fifth inning.
"We're still getting our arms wrapped around it," Showalter said.
If needed, Game 5 would start at 4:07 p.m. ET on Thursday. Games 6 and 7 would return to Baltimore and be played Friday and Saturday, as scheduled.
"Our teams are used to play consecutive games in a row," Woodfork said. "Hopefully it will not have a negative impact on the clubs."
Rain had been in the forecast for the first two games of the ALCS at Camden Yards, but both games were played without delay. The Royals won the first 8-6 in 10 innings, and Alcides Esocbar's go-ahead double in the ninth inning boosted them to a 6-4 victory Saturday.
Since the best-of-seven format was adopted in 1985, all 11 teams that have won the first two games of a league championship series on the road reached the World Series.