KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Just what the Kansas City Royals did not need was another off day.
The Royals and Cleveland Indians were rained out Friday night with the game postponed about 30 minutes before the scheduled first pitch. The game has been rescheduled for as a doubleheader Sunday, the first day-night doubleheader in Kauffman Stadium history.
The Royals have had six days off in the past 12 days. They had regular scheduled days off on April 15, 18 and Monday, games rained out Tuesday and Friday and a game postponed April 19 when they were in Boston, which was shut down for the manhunt for the marathon bombers.
While the Royals lead the American League Central with an 11-8 record, they have found it difficult to get into a regular rhythm.
"We’re awfully tired," closer Greg Holland said and laughed after playing only two games in the past five days. "We’ve played six games in 10 day or something like that. We’re ready to play some games especially when you’re playing well you want to keep doing it. These rain outs are kind of smelly."
Holland has retired the side in his past four outings, striking out nine of 12 batters, but other relievers have seen scant work. Luke Hochevar has been limited to four appearances and 5 1/3 innings this season. Left-hander Bruce Chen pitched Sunday for the first time in 11 games and hasn’t pitched since. When J.C. Gutierrez worked two hitless innings Wednesday at Detroit, it was his first appearance since April 12.
After a 4-3 trip to Atlanta, Boston and Detroit, the Royals returned home Friday for a 10-game homestand, but that was delayed a day.
"It was a long trip, but it was successful," Holland said.
Holland acknowledged sitting and waiting can wear out a player much as playing.
"A lot of guys know from past experiences they’ve got to stay active, go for a jog in the gym or do light lifting just to keep the body active," Holland said. "Because if you sit there all day in bed that’s when I feel the worse and my back stiffens up. It’s just kind of a process of being able to stay fresh and not too fresh."
The Indians, too, have had their share of rain outs. This was the second Indians’ rainout in four games and their fourth this season. They also had an off-day Thursday and have played only once in the past three days.
One advantage of not playing is that it’s less games that Michael Bourn will have to miss. He’s been on the disabled list since April 17 — retroactive two days earlier, with a lacerated right index finger. He’s eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday.
"Michael worked out at the ballpark and he’ll hit in the cage," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We’re trying to get him back and we’re going to go by how he’s doing."
Bourn wasn’t sure when he’d be ready as the stiches just came out on Thursday.
The Friday probable starters, Indians left-hander Scott Kazmir and Royals right-hander Ervin Santana will start Saturday. Indians right-hander Justin Masterson and Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will start the first game Sunday. Neither club has announced the starter for the second game Sunday.