Mike Moustakas said the completion of a suspended game with the Indians is just like any other contest.
“Except I’m leading off and we’re down two,” Moustakas said. “We’ve got to find a way to win.”
The Indians must feel like there’s been a check in the mail for the past three weeks. They’re three outs away from completing a 4-2 victory.
The game from Aug. 31 unfolded dramatically. The Indians took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth and were poised for the series sweep.
But Alex Gordon’s leadoff home run tied the game, and it went to extras.
Relief ace Greg Holland quickly got the first two outs in the 10th. But an error by Billy Butler, playing first base, kept the inning alive. After a single, pinch hitter Lonnie Chisenhall smacked a two-run double.
The Royals came to bat in the bottom of the 10th and due up were 7-8-9 hitters Moustakas, catcher Erik Kratz and shortstop Alcides Escobar.
An unrelenting rain washed away any hopes of competing the evening — the game had been pushed from a 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. start for ESPN coverage — and the decision was made to suspend the contest. With the teams scheduled to meet for a final series in Cleveland, the rest of the game was placed there.
For the past three weeks, as the Royals have jockeyed for position in the American League Central Division standing and more recently the wild-card chase, it’s taken additional math to determine the Royals’ place.
With Sunday’s 5-2 victory over the Tigers, they’re 84-70 and 1 1/2 games behind Detroit for the Central lead. But for the past month, it’s been tempting to add a loss to the Royals’ record and figure their position in both circumstances.
That won’t be necessary after Monday.
The Royals will come to bat at 5:05 p.m., and their name will be on the bottom side of the linescore.
Kyle Crockett, a left-hander, was set to take the mound for the Indians on Aug. 31. He hasn’t pitched since Friday.
But the Royals could pinch-hit to avoid the lefty-lefty match up.
Since that game, rosters have expanded and everybody on the roster who hasn’t played in the game is available.
Eric Hosmer, who was on the disabled list at the time, is ready if the Royals need a left-handed pinch hitter. He’s among the team’s hottest hitters after recording his second straight multi-hit game in Sunday’s 5-2 victory over the Tigers.
Jarrod Dyson hadn’t played in the game but is available. So is September call-up Terrance Gore, a pinch-running specialist.
If the Royals tie the game, Holland could stay in, or the Royals could go in a different direction.
“If we tie or take the lead, we have Holland,” Yost said.
Then Yost was reminded that if the Royals take the lead, it’s over. The Royals will be the home team, although they will wear their road uniforms.
“Walk ’em off in their own park, it sure would be fun,” Yost said. “It’s a weird situation.”