Rain means Kansas City Royals cling to Central lead for another day

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On the brink of dropping back into a tie for first place in the AL Central with the Detroit Tigers, the Royals got some help from Mother Nature.

In between the top and bottom of the 10th inning, heavy rain surrounded Kauffman Stadium. And the elements persisted until the umpiring crew was forced to suspend the game with the Indians needing just three more outs to complete a 4-2 win. 

The game

The game will not be forgotten, however. The two teams will simply resume the game and finish the bottom half of the 10th inning on September 22nd when the two teams play at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It has potential to be a very quick "doubleheader" with Cleveland three outs away from a win. 

It all could have been avoided if the Indians had been able to hold onto their first lead of the game. But Alex Gordon provided heroics for the second time in a week. After hitting a game-winning two-run home run in the ninth inning on Tuesday, against Minnesota and on national television, Gordon saved KC again. This time he just tied the game, though. But his solo shot to lead off the ninth inning on Sunday Night Baseball sent the Royals and Indians into extra innings. 

And that was when the rain came.

Cleveland gained the lead

Luckily enough for Cleveland, it came after they were able to put two on the board against Kansas City closer Greg Holland. Holland entered the game with a minuscule 1.66 ERA and a WHIP just over 1.00. But Lonnie Chisenhall lined a two-out, pinch-hit double off the top of the wall in right field to make it 4-2. 

The Indians used their closer Cody Allen in the bottom of the ninth and probably would have had to go to someone else in their bullpen had the game continued. Allen will surely be available to close out the game that will take place over three weeks from now. That will mean he gets the opportunity to earn both a blown save and an actual save in the same game - one of the unusual wrinkles in a suspended game of baseball.

The Detroit Tigers fell to the Chicago White Sox earlier Sunday afternoon to give KC its 0.5 game lead in the Central. Assuming Cleveland does finish the win on the 22nd, the Tigers and Royals will be tied with the Tribe now joining the party.

Cleveland sits just 2.5 games back of the lead. And it carries the momentum of a sweep back home where the Tigers await a four-game series. Corey Kluber will start against David Price on Monday.

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Kansas City Royals
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
MLB American League

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