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MLB spokesman Michael Teevan praised West and his crew for handling “a challenging situation very well.”

“We appreciate the efforts of both clubs, the umpires and particularly the Cardinals’ grounds crew, and we are glad that the game was played to completion,” he added.

Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum shrugged off any concerns about sleep-deprived umpires calling Friday’s game against Arizona.

The Cubs extended their winning streak to five games with a 7-2 win over Arizona on Friday afternoon.

“Sometimes we get in at 3:15 in the morning . they don’t have to get to the park that early, so they get plenty of sleep,” he said of the umpires. “That’s not something that’s going to dictate the game.”

The near-capacity crowd of 43,916 in St. Louis was down to a couple hundred hardy souls when the game ended.

Joe West did a tremendous job,” said Royals manager Ned Yost, whose team snapped an eight-game skid with the victory.

“He was ready to wait as long as we could. He just felt that we were getting close to that point. He came into the office, Joe, we’ve got 15 minutes of rain left and it’s gone. He goes, well, that’s not what I heard. Look, let’s go outside. And we went outside, and it stopped raining.”

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and general manager John Mozeliak lobbied during the delay for an eight-inning St. Louis win. West said the Cardinals did not express their frustrations to him directly, made no statement and did not lodge a protest.

Either way, Matheny seemed less than thrilled with the decision to wait out the rain.

“I’m not going to sit here and start bashing the league for what’s going on,” he said. “But we certainly ended up on the short end of that and we can be paying for it for a couple of days here. There must be a bigger reward out there that I don’t see.”

Mozeliak said he was concerned about players getting injured because of the delay and the wet conditions, although he praised the grounds crew and added it would have been a “PR nightmare” if they “had to revert back to the eighth inning.”

“I did feel compelled that we try to get this game in because that would have been unfair to them had it just reverted back to the eighth,” Mozeliak said.

For the Royals, the long night wasn’t their first this week. They endured one getting to St. Louis after Tuesday’s game against the Cardinals in Kansas City.

Problems with their plane forced them to take a bus across the state, and they didn’t arrive until 5 a.m.

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