Royals notebook

Everyone happy to get back to baseball in Boston

Updated: 2013-04-20T22:13:29Z

By BOB DUTTON

The Kansas City Star

— The Royals spent Friday like most everyone else in the Boston area — huddled indoors and tracking news reports of the massive police manhunt for the surviving suspect in Monday’s bombings.

“A bunch of us sat around playing cards and watching TV for about eight hours,” right fielder Jeff Francoeur said. “Then we gave up on (following the manhunt), and switched to ESPN. And then everything happened.”

The authorities captured that suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, in the neighboring community of Watertown as dusk settled over the city. A short time later, the Red Sox confirmed Saturday’s game would be played as scheduled.

“I’m ready to go,” closer Greg Holland said in summing up the club’s mood. The Royals have been idle since their 1-0 victory over the Braves on Wednesday afternoon in Atlanta.

The Royals arrived Wednesday night at the Westin Copley Place hotel, which is about two blocks from the scene of the Monday’s bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Authorities identified Tsarnaev, 19, and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan as the prime suspects in the bombings, which killed three people and injured more than 180.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed from wounds suffered early Friday morning following a car chase and shootout. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escaped on foot, which prompted Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to issue a “shelter in place” order while the manhunt proceeded.

Patrick’s order effectively put Boston and its surrounding communities on a lockdown. Bus and rail service halted. Cabs continued to operate after a brief shutdown but they were used primarily to take people home.

“Just sitting around the hotel,” center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. “That’s what my day was.”

Few if any of the club’s traveling party ventured into the streets.

“I pretty much obey the laws of the land,” manager Ned Yost said. “When they say, `stay in your hotel,’ I stayed in my hotel.”

Tribute planned

The Red Sox planned to delay the start of Saturday’s game by roughly 20 minutes -- from 12:10 p.m. Central time to 12:30 p.m. Central time -- to allow sufficient time for a pre-game tribute.

“Everybody wants to play up the emotional angle,” Yost said. “And, yeah, it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a signal that everything is back to normal.”

Lineup set (for now)

Yost rolled out a new-look lineup that he expects to use for the foreseeable future. It shifted Eric Hosmer into the cleanup role, followed by Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas.

“What I like to do,” Yost said, “is get a lineup and firm it for a while. I’ll probably keep this lineup for a while. We’ve (battled) weather, off-days and all of these outside conditions that are affecting our ability to get on a roll.”

Salvy Perez dropped to eighth between Jeff Francoeur and Chris Getz.

The top three of Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar and Billy Butler remained unchanged.

“Until we can start playing some games consistently, and get into an offensive routine,” Yost said, “it’s hard to get any continuity going. We’ve got some guys who haven’t got really untracked yet.

“When they do, it’s going to be a fun little venture.”

Double-header on Sunday

The Royals and Red Sox will play a day/night doubleheader Sunday to make up the game postponed Friday night because of the city-wide manhunt in Boston for the surviving suspect in the Marathon bombings.

The first game will start, as previously scheduled, at 12:35 p.m. Central time. The second game is tentatively slotted for 6 p.m. Central time. The Royals are planning to start Ervin Santana in the opener and Jeremy Guthrie in the second game.

Tribute patch The Royals sported a “B Strong” patch on their uniforms to honor the Boston community in light of the bombings and manhunt that disrupted the city over the previous five days.

The patches will remain in place throughout the series.

Looking back

It was 30 years ago Saturday -- April 20, 1983 -- that George Brett hit three homers and drove in a career-high seven runs in an 8-7 victory at Detroit. Brett capped his big day with a two-run shot in the ninth inning against Howard Bailey that provided the winning margin. His first two homers were against Jack Morris.

To reach Bob Dutton, Royals reporter for The Star, send email to bdutton@kcstar.com. Follow his updates at twitter.com/Royals_Report.

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