BOSTON — The Royals had put together the makings of a comeback. Runs in the sixth and seventh to tie the game, 4 2/3 scoreless innings pitched by the bullpen to force extra frames, potentially three outs away from winning the series against the defending World Series champions.
And then the rain hit.
After a one-hour and 49-minute delay, Wednesday night’s series finale was suspended in the top of the 10th inning in a 4-4 tie. The game is scheduled to resume on Aug. 22 at 12:05 p.m. CT at Fenway Park.
“We’re glad we don’t have to sit here all through the night and wonder when we’re going to play,” Billy Hamilton said. “I’m kind of glad we got it over with.”
The Royals converged in the visitors’ clubhouse as rain soaked the tarp-covered field and lightning cracked the sky. Some players sat at their lockers. Others went to the trainer’s room. Some sprawled out on the couches, while others grabbed a bite to eat.
“We were just hanging out, wondering if we were going to play again,” Nicky Lopez said. “If not, we were just checking the radar. Obviously, it didn’t look good. We were wondering how late it was going to be or how late we were going to wait and what time we were going to get into Detroit.”
When the rain didn’t let up — the lightning continued after the game was called — the Royals packed up to hit the road for their series beginning on Thursday night at Comerica Park against the Tigers.
“Shouldn’t have lasted two hours long,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of the delay. “Anybody could have looked at the radar, they’d see it was probably going to be a showstopper. But, we just sit and wait for the game to be called.”
When the game resumes, the Royals will look to complete a win powered offensively by two of its young players. They got on the board in the third inning with a two-run RBI by Meibrys Viloria, who was a late addition to the starting lineup after Cam Gallagher (left side tightness) was scratched following batting practice.
After Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez loaded the bases, the 22-year-old Viloria patiently took the count to 3-1. He jumped on a 95.1-mph four-seam fastball to hit a grounder into center field, which drove in Jorge Soler and Cheslor Cuthbert giving Viloria his second multiple-RBI game in his last four. Viloria bookended the series with his first career home run on Monday.
“A big hit by Valoria,” Yost said. “And, of course, Nicky’s hit to tie it up was a big hit also.”
Lopez, who made his Major League debut in May, evened the score in the seventh with an RBI double off Nathan Eovaldi to plate Hunter Dozier. Lopez entered the game 3-for-17 on the road trip and hitless in his last five at-bats.
“Eovaldi cuts it and he brings it, too,” Lopez said. “So I was just sitting on a fastball, and just reacting. If he threw a curveball, react. But he stayed with the fastball and I tried to be short with it and put the ball in play. Luckily, it found a hole.”
The Royals will play the Orioles in Baltimore on Aug. 19-21. From there, they will travel to Boston for the Aug. 22 restart. After that, they will fly to Cleveland for a three-game series against the Indians, Aug. 23-25.
“If MLB wants us to come back that day, it’s really convenient for us,” Yost said.