The Fenway Park grounds crew spreads a tarp over the infield as heavy rains falls with the score tied 4-4 between the Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox on Aug. 7. The game was suspended but will resume on Thursday. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

On Thursday, the Red Sox will do something at Fenway Park that few of us have ever seen. They’ll take the field to finish a baseball game that started weeks ago.

It’s the continuation of a suspended game with the Kansas City Royals, the first time in more than 50 years the Red Sox have had to wait more than a day to finish a suspended game. The franchise is billing it as “the weirdest day in baseball” and is allowing kids 18 years old and younger to attend for free. Adults only need to pay $5 and can sit anywhere.

Heavy rain late in the night on Aug. 7 forced the game to be suspended. It was tied, 4-4. The teams will pick up exactly where they left off, with the Royals batting in the top of the 10th inning.

Josh Taylor will be on the mound facing Meibrys Viloria. The count is 2-1. Normal baseball rules govern the game meaning a pitcher or player already removed from the game cannot come back in.  The whole thing could take 15 minutes or 3 hours.

Suspended games are always a little strange. Billy Hamilton was batting ninth for the Royals and should be the third man up Thursday, but Kansas City has designated him for assignment and he’s no longer with the team. Someone else will have to hit.

Red Sox Manager Alex Cora is a baseball lifer and has seen a few suspended games before. In fact, he vividly remembers one game that was suspended – in the middle of his at bat.

“One of the worst at bats in my career,” said Cora. “We’re playing winter ball. We’re in the finals and I’m hitting and it’s a 1-2 count with a man on first. We’re down by one run with no outs in the ninth and BOOM the lights are gone.”

The power failure meant the game could not be finished that day.

“They suspended the game so we have to play the next day,” said Cora. “It’s a 1-2 count. The whole day I was like ‘Should I swing?  Should I take? Should I bunt?’ I didn’t know. So I go ‘OK, I’m going to hit into a double play. Just trying reverse psychology. You know what I did?’”

He hit into a double play.

“Yeah,” recalled Cora. “It was awful.”

Andrew Benintendi will lead off the bottom half of the inning Thursday. Cora was quick to point out that Benintendi can’t hit into a double play leading off so he should have a clear mind heading into the conclusion of the game.

It’s all very strange, even stranger for the visiting team. The Royals must fly to Boston to squeeze in the conclusion of the game in between a series in Baltimore and another in Cleveland. They could be back on the plane minutes later. Will they even warm up?

That’s much more of an inconvenience than for the Red Sox, who had to postpone their trip to San Diego by a few hours. Cora admitted some of the players’ families weren’t thrilled, having to push back trips to Sea World and Legoland.

What about the pitchers who have already been in the game? Eduardo Rodriguez and three relievers were already pulled from the game, meaning they can’t go back in. Could they fly out early and get an early start to a day off in Southern California?

“Don’t give them any ideas!” Cora said.

It appears the entire roster will be on hand for the 10th inning Thursday at 1 p.m. It’s only fitting that the weirdest day of baseball is happening in one of the weirdest seasons we’ve seen in a long time.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.


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