Royals washed out on Sunday

By: By Pete Kerzel / Special to MLB.com
By: By Pete Kerzel / Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Sunday's scheduled game between the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles was postponed by rain, meaning the Royals will back their rotation up a day and avoid duplicating identical pitching matchups from their series against Detroit last week at Kauffman Stadium.
For the Royals, who have dropped a season-high four straight and seven of eight games, the unexpected break might be just what's needed to turn around a moribund offense and struggling bullpen.

"Maybe a break instead of a blow will help," Bell said. "Sometimes, getting a little out of a routine helps. It's not always as bad as it seems. We've just got to try to figure out how to level it off. Maybe a day like today, with the kind of weather we've been playing in, [will help]."

Instead of trying to help the Royals avert a four-game sweep at Camden Yards, right-hander Zack Greinke will start Monday's opener of a three-game series at Comerica Park against the defending American League champion Tigers. Greinke, who is 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA, will be opposed by right-hander Justin Verlander, who is 0-0 with an 0.00 ERA.

Shifting Greinke to Monday means right-handers Jorge De La Rosa and Gil Meche will also be bumped back a day. De Le Rosa (1-1, 3.55 ERA) will face left-hander Mike Maroth (2-0, 4.91) on Tuesday, while Meche (1-1, 3.10) will pitch against right-hander Jeremy Bonderman (0-0, 2.57) in Wednesday's getaway afternoon game.

Bell is happy to shake things up against a Central Division opponent instead of replicating pitching matchups from last week's series in Kansas City.

"We play them so much, that you don't like the same guys facing them 18 times," he said. "Right now, my concern is getting us back on track and getting some guys going that are struggling right now."

The few Royals that made their way to Camden Yards in pouring rain Sunday morning were treated to French toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast before a bus returned to the stadium to transport them back to the team hotel.

Bell instructed players not to lift weights or run so they would get the full benefit of an off-day. However, they will have to wait until at least 3 p.m. ET for the team charter to depart Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport for Detroit.

No immediate makeup date was announced, but the teams share six common off-days for the remainder of the schedule, beginning with Thursday, April 19. The Royals were scheduled for an off-day after the series in Detroit, while the Orioles will be returning to Camden Yards after a three-game series in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Aug. 6 is also a possibility for the Royals to come back to Baltimore. The Royals are off that day after a six-game trip to Minnesota and New York, while the Orioles have an off-day following a road series in St. Petersburg and before opening a homestand versus Seattle.

On Sept. 24, the Royals are scheduled for an off-day between three-game road series in Detroit and Chicago, while the Orioles are off after a 10-day road trip and before starting a season-ending six-game homestand.

Three other common off-days likely wouldn't be considered. Aug. 27 carries more logistical challenges for the Royals, who were scheduled to be off in between three-game home series against Cleveland and Detroit. Both teams are in the middle of homestands on June 11. On July 19, the Orioles are in the middle of a West Coast trip to Seattle and Oakland, while the Royals are in the midst of an East Coast swing between Boston and Detroit.

Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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