DETROIT (AP) - Rain is following the Kansas City Royals.
Their scheduled game against the Detroit Tigers was postponed because of bad weather Monday night, Kansas City's second rainout in three days. This one will be made up at 7:05 p.m. on Sept. 24, which had been a mutual off day for both teams before playing each other the following day at Comerica Park.
``You don't want to wait until September, but that's a better option than sitting here for hours trying to wait out this rain,' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ``You don't want to sit here all night and still not be able to play.'
Luke Hochevar had been slated to pitch for the Royals against Tigers left-hander Duane Below. Hochevar was pushed back a day, but Detroit will skip Below and start Rick Porcello as scheduled on Tuesday night.
Play never started and the game was called after a delay of about 40 minutes.
``If you looked at the forecast and the radar, you pretty much knew there wasn't going to be a chance of getting this one in,' Yost said. ``There was just way too much rain.'
The Royals had won three in a row before Saturday's game in Minnesota was postponed, but Yost doesn't think the lack of action has hurt his team's momentum. Kansas City lost to the Twins 7-4 on Sunday.
``These guys are in here ready and raring to go,' he said. ``Obviously, they want to play baseball, but when you get to this level, you are used to things like this happening.'
The rainout could help both teams on the mound.
The Royals will pitch Hochevar and Jonathan Sanchez in Detroit, then have Danny Duffy and Bruce Chen ready to start the first two games of a home series against the New York Yankees this week. That would allow Kansas City to skip struggling Luis Mendoza.
``It will help us a little,' Yost said. ``We go Hoch, Sanchez and Duffy, and then we can still use Bruce on his regular day if we want to do that.'
The Tigers, already facing a shortage in the bullpen, were going to start Below against the Royals. The rainout not only gives Detroit's overworked relievers an extra day off, it lets manager Jim Leyland return Below to his preferred role of long relief.
Doug Fister (strained ribcage) is scheduled for a rehab start Wednesday with Triple-A Toledo, and the Tigers hope he'll be ready to pitch the next time his spot in the rotation comes up.
``If everything goes well on Wednesday, and I obviously don't know if it will, Fister would start next Monday in Seattle,' Leyland said. ``That's what we are hoping will happen.'
The Tigers' clubhouse was a fairly gloomy place for much of Monday afternoon, with the team having lost eight of 10 and Delmon Young waiting for news on his punishment for Friday's trouble in New York.
The outfielder was suspended by Major League Baseball for seven days without pay following his arrest on a hate crime harassment charge last week. The commissioner's office said the suspension is retroactive to Friday, when Young was arrested after a late-night tussle at his hotel during which police say he yelled anti-Semitic epithets.
But things immediately brightened up when injured designated hitter Victor Martinez limped into the Detroit clubhouse. Martinez, expected to miss most of the season after injuring his knee during offseason workouts, hadn't been to Comerica Park yet this year.
``It is really great to be back here,' he said. ``I can't tell you how much I miss this.'
Martinez's arrival seemed to energize his smiling teammates.
``It feels good to be able to walk back in here and be with these guys. No one else understands how special this is,' Martinez said. ``Now that I got rid of my crutches - well, I still have them, but I'm going to make a fire with them - I'll be here more often.'
The Associated Press News Service
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