Veteran Alex Rios relishes postseason debut

Alex Rios
Alex Rios

Royals outfielder Alex Rios waited 1,691 games before making his postseason debut Thursday against the Astros in Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Kauffman Stadium.

The result wasn’t what he hoped for, but Rios said the experience was worth the wait.

It had been a long wait for Rios, whose 1,691 games played without a postseason appearance were the longest in the big leagues before he took the field Thursday for Game 1 of the American League Division Series against Houston at Kauffman Stadium.

The game didn’t finish how he’d likem with the Astros claiming a 5-2 victory and the series lead, but Rios said the experience was still worth the wait.

“This is something that every ballplayer wants to do at some point in their career, so I finally have made it after a long time,” Rios said. “I believe that it was worth (the wait). It’s not over yet. We still have a lot coming, so let’s see what happens.”

Rios acknowledged that coming to the ballpark felt different, but said it was similar for all his teammates.

“Every single one of us knew what was going on,” said Rios, who drew a fifth-inning walk.

“It’s an exciting time, and I think every single one of us felt the energy and the emotions that were going through the stadium. I think it was fun, and hopefully (Friday) it’s as loud as it was tonight.”

Rios said his postseason debut generated the same excitement he feels for the start of each new season, “but I would say that now it’s a little different because these are really meaningful games in a short series.”

Still, he’s got a veteran’s perspective about going down a game to the Astros.

“Just because we lost the first game doesn’t mean that it’s over or we’re in trouble,” Rios said. “We have to come back (Friday), keep playing our game and it will be fine.”

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer