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Royals get another off-day as rain delays opener

DETROIT -- It turned out to be the sixth day without a game in the past 13, but oddly enough, it was the first rainout of the season for the Royals.

Their series opener in Detroit was postponed indefinitely Tuesday night because of rain only about 15 minutes after the scheduled starting time of 6:08 p.m. CT.

That changed the Royals' pitching plans, bumping Luis Mendoza out of his scheduled start on Wednesday night. Instead, Wade Davis, who was supposed to start Tuesday against the Tigers, will take that game. Mendoza will be available out of the bullpen.

The Tigers are just pushing back their scheduled starters, with Max Scherzer moving to Wednesday night and Justin Verlander to Thursday afternoon opposite James Shields.

The game will be made up at a date to be determined, but not during this series. More rain is in the forecast for Wednesday night.

To go along with the 17 games (including a doubleheader) the Royals have played since April 1, they've now had a total of seven days off.

"They're terrible," said the Royals' Billy Butler. "We want to play as much as anybody. We already had enough off-days in April to begin with, and then, because of the unfortunate incidents in Boston, we had an off-day because of that. Then the weather today, and you just can't get comfortable at the plate if we don't get at-bats."

Butler is just 2-for-16 (.125) in the first five games on this road trip and he's anxious to get in a groove. Both those hits, including a home run, came in Sunday's doubleheader sweep at Boston.

"I just started getting comfortable at the end of that doubleheader the other day, and now we've got two more off-days," Butler said after the Royals also had Monday scheduled off. "Basically, it feels like you're just getting at-bats in Spring Training again. It's like spring is starting over again. But these games count."

The rainout marked the fourth day without a game in the past six.

"We wanted to play today. Just the way the schedule's been has been crazy," Mike Moustakas said. "It's like [Eric Hosmer] said, it's kind of been like a basketball schedule. We play a couple games, then get three days off in between. And there's been some crazy circumstances. We just want to get in a rhythm, get in a routine every day. We just haven't been able to do that."

Standing in first place in the American League Central and coming off a doubleheader sweep of the Red Sox, the Royals would seem to be especially eager to play.

"I think we've got a lot of talent around here," Butler said. "We're not worried about hot and cold streaks as a team. We just want to get out there and see how it shakes out."

Will they be able to do any shaking on Wednesday night? There's that forecast for rain.

"And I know it's not going to be any warmer," Butler said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for

Kansas City Royals, Wade Davis, Luis Mendoza