Heading into the Memorial Day affair, the forecast didn’t look quite as promising in getting through a full game between the Royals and White Sox. Playing in the middle of a downpour, both clubs and umpiring crew had their sights set on completing five innings of play, good enough to determine a winner. Tossing out two pitchers with earned run averages above the six mark, Homer Bailey and Ivan Nova took the mound with the mindset of working rather quickly. Sitting through two rain delays that led to an eventual suspension until the next day, Chicago came out victorious in the Windy City by a score of 2-1, lasting over 28 hours.
Before the sky dropped buckets of water upon the two divisional rivals on Tuesday afternoon, the top of the first witnessed a heartfelt moment when the Royals leadoff hitter stepped to the plate. Growing up 30-35 minutes away from Guaranteed Rate Field in Naperville, Illinois, infielder Nicky Lopez was greeted with a loud ovation by over 400 of his friends and family in the bleachers. Although feeling the support similar to a home crowd, Lopez couldn’t notch a hit on the afternoon, going 0-3 with three groundouts. Back on the mound, Nova and Bailey worked the opposite of methodical. Sitting down hitters through the first three innings without allowing a run, the White Sox hurler was banged for a run in the top of the fourth. After Adalberto Mondesi squibbed a one-out double down the third baseline and moved to third on a deep fly ball, Hunter Dozier roped a single to left to break the tie. Recording his sixth hit in two days, Dozier gave Bailey the lead needed just before the game would be counted as official. Hoping to continue his dominance over the struggling White Sox, the Royals right-hander attempted to work the final three outs in the fifth. Allowing two hits in the bottom half, the rain became too severe to play in with one out and two runners on. With Kansas City leading 1-0, the game entered a rain delay.
Lasting just under three hours, play resumed with a small window before the skies would open up again for good. Calling on left-hander Brian Flynn to squander Chicago’s last opportunity to tie or take the lead, the game mimicked a bottom of the ninth feel. Racing against time, Flynn allowed a game-tying single to Yolmer Sanchez minutes before the storm came in. Calling the players off the field for the second time on the day, the decision was made to suspend play until Wednesday afternoon.
Resuming activity at 4:40 CT, it was Scott Barlow on for Kansas City, making him the third pitcher in the elongated top of the fifth inning. Striking out Ryan Cordell, the score remained 1-1 as the clubs moved onward in the shortened game. Despite the anticipation for someone to claim the lead, both offenses stalled without much ruckus until the ninth inning.
After Jake Diekman walked the leadoff hitter, James McCann doubled over Whit Merrifield’s head in right off of Kevin McCarthy. Loading the bases with nobody out, Yolmer Sanchez walked it off with an RBI-single to single to centerfield. Here in less than an hour, the Royals will play game two of the day and series. Brad Keller will go for Kansas City while Lucas Giolito will toe the slab for the Southsiders.