- Associated Press - Friday, May 31, 2013

Jeff Francouer noticed the sun rising as the plane landed and people having breakfast as the Kansas City Royals arrived at their hotel near Dallas.

Calling it a long night would be just a mild understatement.

What appeared to be a routine game at St. Louis on Thursday turned into something else thanks a marathon rain delay and a decision to wait it out.

The Royals wound up beating the Cardinals 4-2 in a game that ended well after 3 in the morning.

“It was interesting, but for us, it’s good,” said Francouer, the Royals‘ outfielder.

Interesting is one way to put it.

The Royals and Cardinals should have known something was up when the first pitch was delayed an hour by rain.

The game moved quickly after that _ right up until the top of the ninth inning, with the Royals leading and the rain back in force. Umpire crew chief Joe West had a decision to make.

With the game the last meeting between the two teams this season, a new rule added this year allowed West to call the game in a decision that would wipe out the top of the ninth and give the Cardinals a 2-1 win, based on the score from the previous completed inning.

West chose to wait out the rain. And wait. And wait some more.

After 4 1/2 miserable hours, the game resumed shortly after 3 a.m. CDT and the final out came at 3:14 a.m.

Kansas City left for a series in Texas and the Cardinals went home to sleep a bit before a home series against San Francisco.

The umpiring crew? They had a matinee in Chicago, with the first pitch scheduled just 10 hours after the final out in St. Louis.

“We worry about that game when we get to that one,” West told a pool reporter after the game. “We had to worry about this game.”

He declined comment on Friday

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