(BaseballStL) -- You could say that the Kansas City Royals were willing to wait as long as it took to secure their first win in more than a week. They proved it while waiting out a four and a half hour rain delay until play resumed at 3:04 a.m. to do it on Thursday night/Friday morning.
The Royals would spoil a strong debut from Michael Wacha, who allowed one run on two hits in seven innings pitched, when Jeff Francoeur launched a solo home run on the second pitch thrown by Mitchell Boggs to tie the game in the ninth inning. It marked his third blown save in five chances this season.
Victor Marte was brought in two batters later and plunked the first batter faced, Alcides Escobar. Marte then committed a fielding error on a throw to third base in the next at-bat before intentionally walking Chris Getz.
That’s when the heavy rains came and the wait was on for the Royals, who were in search of their first win since May 21 -- a span of nine games played. Four hours and 32 minutes later the next pitch would be thrown.
How long were the umpires willing to wait to start the game?
“It’s a good question,” Mike Matheny said. “How long? I think it was until we could go out and play. That was my understanding.
Why? I don’t really know. I think you guys know there is some rules out there that state things. We went out and finished the game.”
After the rains finally subsided around 2 a.m., the grounds crew spent nearly an hour preparing the field for what would be the final six outs of a long 4-2 Royals win.
In the meantime, the Cardinals were in contact with league officials about the situation. There were no grounds for a protest to be issued by the team, according to Matheny.
“I thought it was bad and I thought the grounds crew did a tremendous job getting it to the point where we could put people out there,” Matheny added. “If this comes down to one of my guys getting hurt it’s a big deal.”
Joe Kelly came in to pitch after the delay and got a double play and another out to escape a bases loaded jam with no outs in the ninth inning. The Cardinals were unable to get a man onboard in the bottom half and lost 4-2.
The game also started with an hour-long delay before the first pitch was thrown.
The Cardinals will host the San Francisco Giants for a weekend series at Busch Stadium while the Royals travel to play the Texas Rangers next.