With heavy rain coming down for much of Tuesday in the Baltimore area, there was little doubt that the Orioles’ scheduled game against the Tampa Bay Rays would be postponed.
But both teams arrived at Camden Yards with hope that the clouds would give way in time to play.
A little more than 90 minutes before the scheduled 7:05 p.m. start, however, the game was officially postponed. No makeup date was immediately announced.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter hinted earlier Tuesday that the two clubs could have played a doubleheader Wednesday, but they’ll only play the regularly scheduled 12:35 p.m. game.
“Great call,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said after Tuesday’s game was postponed. “What took you so long?”
But the postponement left the American League East rivals scrambling to find common ground on a makeup day.
“I think our guys are mature enough to understand there’s a price to pay for doubleheaders, especially when they are put off until August,” Showalter said before the game was postponed.
The Rays make two more trips to Baltimore — a weekend series June 27-29 and a four-game weekday series Aug. 25-28 — during which they could schedule a doubleheader.
The clubs also share a common off day June 26 — the day before the Rays come back to Camden Yards — but taking away that off day would force the Orioles to play on 24 consecutive days heading into the All-Star break.
The Orioles announced that Tuesday’s scheduled starter, right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, will start Wednesday’s series finale. Right-hander Chris Tillman had been scheduled to start on regular rest, and he has a 3.20 ERA on regular rest since the beginning of the 2013 season.
The Orioles haven’t announced their starting rotation for their seven-game road trip following Thursday’s off day. They play four games against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park starting Friday before traveling to Rogers Centre for three games against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The rainout also allowed the Orioles to avoid facing Rays left-hander David Price, who was originally scheduled to pitch Wednesday and will be pushed back a day. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi will make his first career start — and second appearance — against the Orioles on Wednesday.
Price is 7-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 16 career starts against the Orioles, and he has won his last three decisions against the club. He’s also unbeaten — 4-0, 3.24 ERA — in eight career starts at Camden Yards.
Both teams had prepared for a possible rainout Tuesday, but Showalter said his team remained focused on playing.
“Everyone thinks you’re not going to play, and then you play,” Showalter said. “You better be ready to play, and our guys have done a great job of it since I’ve been here. … Think about the poor fans. We’ve got heaters in the dugout, we’ve got different ways to get around it. You’ve got a dry shirt to put on.”
Since a makeup date has yet to be set, the Orioles encouraged fans to keep their tickets and parking until more information is made available. An announcement on the makeup date didn’t appear imminent Tuesday.
The Orioles and Rays were supposed to wear No. 42 jerseys for Tuesday’s annual Jackie Robinson Day, which honors the anniversary of the former Brooklyn Dodgers infielder’s major league debut and his breaking of the color barrier.
Instead, both clubs will wear the No. 42 jerseys Wednesday.
--Orioles third baseman Manny Machado is still set to run the bases tomorrow for the first time since spring training. He took infield and batting practice, had five at-bats in a simulated game, ran three sprints from 90 feet and another three at 180 feet on Tuesday. Depending on the timing, Orioles vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson could join Machado when he begins his rehab assignment, Showalter said.
“He’s somebody who’s got a real good feel of what he looks like when he’s right,” Showalter said.
-- Orioles corner infielder Michael Almanzar (left knee) played in his first extended spring training game Tuesday, acting as the starting designated hitter for five innings. He will play the field for the first time tomorrow, starting at third base and playing seven innings. If he continues to progress, he should go on a rehab assignment soon.
-- Left-hander Johan Santana, rehabbing from his second shoulder surgery in three years, is scheduled to throw a batting practice session to hitters Thursday. He’s still simulating a five-day rotation down in Sarasota, Fla., to make sure he recovers well from his pitching days.
-- Left-hander Troy Patton, who is in the midst of serving a 25-game suspension, is eligible to go on a rehab assignment Saturday, but the club hasn’t decided which affiliate he will join.
-- Showalter said right-hander Dylan Bundy, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery last June, is beginning to spin the ball, but he hasn’t thrown any breaking balls in bullpen sessions yet. Showalter said he should start that sometime this week, and it will be his final step before getting into games.