CINCINNATI (AP) - The Reds and Giants were exploring numerous options Friday for making up their rained-out game in Cincinnati, including the possibility of playing it on the road.
Day-long rain forced the teams to call off the final game of their series scheduled for Thursday afternoon. It was San Francisco's only trip into town.
The teams share an off day on Aug. 29, their only break in long stretches of games. Manager Dusty Baker said Friday that the teams are exploring three or four different scenarios, including the possibility of playing the makeup in Colorado or as part of a doubleheader in San Francisco.
``There is no easy solution to this,'' Baker said. ``I'm sure this is not the only time it's going to happen to somebody with the schedule.''
The packed schedule is the problem.
The 29th of August is the only time the Reds and Giants share a day off. Both teams would prefer to keep that day free. The defending NL Central champion Reds play 20 days in a row before that day off, followed by 13 consecutive days. Adding a game on the 29th would have them playing for 34 straight days - a tough thing late in the season.
The defending World Series champion Giants play 16 straight days before that one day off, followed by 17 straight games. They, too, would wind up playing 34 straight days during the decisive part of the schedule.
Baker said a long stretch of games like that could wear down a contending team.
``When you're out of gas that late in the year, you don't get gas back until after the season,'' Baker said.
The Reds conclude a series in St. Louis on Aug. 28th, then head to Colorado to start a series on the 30th. The Giants wrap up a series in Colorado on the 28th, so the teams are considering playing the makeup game at Coors Field on the 29th.
That option would eliminate having them fly back to Cincinnati for one game, then back out West.
Another option would be to make up the game as part of a day-night doubleheader in San Francisco when the Reds visit from July 22-24. That way, both teams would get their off-day later in the month.
Major League Baseball prohibits teams from playing more than 20 days in a row. The players' union would have to approve an exception.
The other option would be to make up the game at the end of the season if it's necessary to decide which teams make the playoffs or how they're seeded. If it's not necessary, the game isn't made up.
If that final game were needed to decide teams and pairings for the playoffs, it could be tacked onto the end of the regular season.
``It would be better yet to just not need that at the end of the year and start the playoffs,'' Baker said. ``That would be perfect.''
Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay