Rays-Indians to resume at 12:10 a.m., likely to play late into night
By JOE SMITH
Times Staff Writer
CLEVELAND - Rays manager Joe Maddon came into Friday with no idea whether they’d be able to play the full game against the Indians, as rain was in the forecast off and on all night.
But Maddon knew one thing, he didn’t want it to turn out like Thursday’s Royals-Cardinals game in St. Louis, which was delayed 4 hours, 32 minutes and finished after 3 a.m.
“I hope that doesn’t happen,” Maddon said Friday afternoon.
But it appeared Friday’s Rays-Indians series opener was headed that way, delayed three times for over a combined four hours, and scheduled to start up again just after midnight with the score 0-0 in the bottom of the second.
First pitch was pushed back from 7:05 to 9:02 p.m. The teams played for 16 minutes, getting to the top of the second before it was delayed again, for 13 minutes. They tried to resume, for three minutes, but was stopped for another long delay at 9:34 p.m, with lefthander Matt Moore walking off the mound to likely finish his 11-pitch outing.
Many fans on the $1 hot dog night stuck around, cheering loudly when the Orioles walkoff win over the Tigers was shown on the JumboTron, putting the Indians in a first-place tie. They chanted “We want baseball!” and “Let them Play!”
Several Rays players mulled around in the dugout, and Maddon even took a slow walk around the outfield grass around 10:30 p.m., testing the playing conditions. One hour later, Maddon and Indians manager Terry Francona took their own lap into the outfield, with umpires in tow, before coming to a conclusion. The grounds crew came out around 11:45 to take the tarp off and prepare the field for play.
The teams are scheduled to play at 1:05 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It is their last series against each other all season, so they'd likely try to get all the meetings done over the weekend.