BOSTON — The Baltimore Orioles’ scheduled Fourth of July game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park was postponed because of inclement weather nearly three hours before its scheduled start.
The game will be made up as the first of a split-admission doubleheader at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday. Game 2 will start at 7:15 p.m.
Local forecasts called for storms throughout the day and into the night here in Boston as Hurricane Arthur made its way up the East Coast.
The Orioles weren’t involved in the decision to play a doubleheader Saturday, even though they probably will benefit from it. According to Article V, Section C of Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, the Red Sox and Chicago Cubs have the unique right to reschedule a postponed home game as a split-admission doubleheader without the other team’s consent. Otherwise, both teams must agree on makeup dates.
That rule, created in the 1990s to account for the relatively smaller capacities of Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, also was invoked in April, when the Red Sox forced the Tampa Bay Rays to play a doubleheader on a getaway day after a rainout instead of on a common day off or as part of a doubleheader later in the season.
After a rain-delayed, 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night, the Orioles’ charter flight wasn’t available until about 2 a.m., and their team flight didn’t arrive in Boston until 4 a.m.
Luckily for the Orioles, the game was postponed before the team bus left the hotel Friday morning.
Baltimore also will have the benefit of adding a 26th man for the second game of the doubleheader. In addition, third baseman Manny Machado will return from his five-game suspension in Game 2, so the club’s number of available players will go from 24 to 26 between games.
The club will stay on turn with its rotation. Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who was scheduled to pitch Friday afternoon, will start Game 1 on Saturday. Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez will remain the starter in Saturday’s night game. Jimenez is 0-5 with a 10.55 ERA in five day starts, compared with 3-3 and 2.53 marks at night.
Jimenez hasn’t fared well against the Red Sox, going 1-3 with a 9.31 ERA in six career starts. He also has a 9.31 ERA in two starts at Fenway Park covering 92 / 3 innings.