Cleveland at Kansas City

Indians at Royals, ppd. wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Joakim Soria has been sitting a lot more than he's been pitching.

The Kansas City Royals closer hasn't worked in more than a week, since logging a save on April 16 at Los Angeles, where he retired all three Angels he faced.

Soria didn't get a chance to pitch again on Wednesday night, when the Royals' game against Cleveland was rained out. It's been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader Thursday night.

"I don't like him sitting as long as he has," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "I don't like him sitting for a week. I don't like it a bit."

Soria is 5-for-5 in save opportunities and has retired the last 17 batters he's faced. He has not allowed a run in seven relief appearances, covering seven innings.

Hillman said ideally he would like to have his closer sit for no more than four days. The Royals, though, have lost five straight and have not needed Soria to close a game since the 3-2 victory over the Angels.

Hillman said he had planned to use Soria for an inning just to get him work on Tuesday in a 15-1 loss to the Indians, but when left-handed reliever Jimmy Gobble failed to finish the seventh inning those plans changed.

"Hopefully, it doesn't have any adverse effects on him sitting that long and being able to come out and perform," Hillman said.

Brett Tomko was scheduled to start Wednesday night for the Royals against Cleveland, but the right-hander never made it out of the clubhouse to stretch or warm up.

Instead, heavy rains moved in about 6 p.m. and didn't stop. Just before 9 p.m, the game was officially called and rescheduled as a doubleheader beginning at 5:10 p.m. Thursday.

"I never went out," Tomko said. "They told me at 6:15 there would be a rain delay before I went out. So we just stayed inside the clubhouse and bonded."

Tomko (1-2, 3.60) and right-hander Fausto Carmona (2-1, 1.96), who was scheduled to start Wednesday for the Indians, will start the first game. In the nightcap, right-hander Brian Bannister (3-1, 2.42) will start for the Royals against left-hander Cliff Lee (3-0, 0.40).

Hillman said he would "very probably" start the same lineup he had penciled in for Wednesday in the first game. That lineup did not include right fielder Jose Guillen, who is struggling with a .165 batting average and struck out four times Tuesday, and second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, who has tightness in his lower back.

The weather forecast, however, is not any better Thursday with more storms in the forecast.

"It is iffy," Hillman said. "That's something we can't control, the weather."

The rainout was the first at Kauffman Stadium since April 29, 2006, against Oakland. The Royals later swept the Athletics in an Aug. 18, 2006, doubleheader, the last one played at Kansas City.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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