Red Sox-Royals suspended in 10th

Game scheduled to resume on Aug. 22 at 1:05 p.m. ET at Fenway

August 8th, 2019

BOSTON -- The Red Sox had visions of a walk-off win on Wednesday night at Fenway Park when their dangerous top of the order stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game against the Royals.

The Sox still will have a chance to walk off with the win even after the rally in the ninth fell short, but it won’t happen for two more weeks.

Rain poured over Fenway just three pitches into the top of the 10th. And after a delay of one hour and 49 minutes, and with no letup in the forecast for several hours, the decision was made to suspend the game in a 4-4 tie and continue it on Aug. 22 at 1:05 p.m. ET.

It is a mutual off-day for the two teams, and fans who had tickets for Wednesday night can use them for the continuation of the game.

The Red Sox are scheduled to fly to San Diego for a series that starts Aug. 23. Boston likely would have flown to San Diego the night of Aug. 21 after the home game against the Phillies. Now they will fly once the game against the Royals is complete.

“Yeah, there’s a lot of people upset about that one,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “No golfing, SeaWorld or Legoland. No marina, no whatever. It is what it is. There was no other option. We’ll play it and we move forward.”

At this stage, with nine losses in their last 10 games, every game matters big-time for the Sox in their quest to hang in the American League Wild Card race.

With Tampa Bay losing on Wednesday, the Sox gained a half-game and now trail by six for the second Wild Card spot.

Ideally, they would have been able to knock off Kansas City before the rain came in Wednesday’s rubber match.

But Eduardo Rodriguez, Boston’s most consistent starting pitcher this season, wasn’t sharp. The lefty threw 101 pitches in five innings, allowing seven hits and two runs, while issuing three walks.

“It wasn’t great, to be honest with you,” Cora said of his team’s performance before the game’s suspension. “I think Eddie was a little wild around the edges of the zone. He had to battle for five innings. One thing I’m liking about him, he wants to go deeper. Today was a grind for him.”

Down 2-0 after three, Jackie Bradley Jr. brought a surge of energy into Fenway when speedster Billy Hamilton tried to run on him in the top of the fourth. As Bradley camped under a routine flyball from Whit Merrifield in medium-depth center field, Hamilton surprisingly decided to try to tag up from second and go for third. Bradley came up firing, and nailed Hamilton on a perfect, one-hop strike to .

Perhaps inspired by the throw from Bradley, the Sox roared back in the bottom of the fourth. Xander Bogaerts led off with a single and J.D. Martinez followed with a towering homer to left-center to tie the game. The Sox took the lead in the fifth when Bogaerts roped one into the corner in left for a two-run double, scoring Mookie Betts, who had singled, and Devers, who had walked.

But the Boston bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. Darwinzon Hernandez gave up his first earned run in 11 relief appearances since his callup last month in the sixth. And in the seventh, Nathan Eovaldi gave up a single, a wild pitch and a double, allowing the Royals to tie the game.

Eovaldi came back out for the eighth and was overpowering. He finished with five strikeouts in two innings.

“Excellent,” Cora said of Eovaldi. “They got a base hit, ground ball through the hole, and then the 0-2 pitch, he doesn’t get it up enough and they put it in play and get the base hit. The wild pitch obviously came into play, but the second inning was impressive. Location, velocity, the conviction of the pitches, it was good to see.”

The night ended with a hollow feeling -- one the Red Sox hope will be replaced by victory on Aug. 22.