BALTIMORE — For the second consecutive day, the White Sox’ scheduled game against the Baltimore Orioles has been postponed after rioting in the streets of Baltimore created a state of emergency here.
With a 10 p.m. curfew in effect for Baltimore, the scheduled 7:05 (Eastern) start time for Tuesday’s game was not feasible. A 4 p.m. start was one of the options considered before the Orioles called off the game after consulting with Major League Baseball and state and local officials.
The teams are also scheduled to play Wednesday night.
Rioting broke out near Oriole Park at Camden Yards Monday, causing the postponement of Monday night’s game because of safety concerns following the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died April 19 after suffering a spinal injury in police custody. The game was called off less than an hour before the scheduled start.
“It was definitely a distraction and something we don’t want to deal with,” Sox outfielder Adam Eaton said Monday as players made their way from the ballpark to their nearby hotel. “Anything can happen when you’re at a baseball game and it gets later in the day.”
The Sox, who were rained out Saturday and have played one game over the last four days, are planning to work out at Camden Yards Tuesday. The ballpark is closed to media.
Sox players gathered around TVs in the visitors clubhouse watching what was going on a few miles away. Sox manager Robin Ventura, coaches and general manager Rick Hahn and assistant GM Buddy Bell watched from Ventura’s office.
Players prepared for the game as usual, but focus was an issue.
“We didn’t want to deal with that today,” Eaton said. “I’m glad. In all of our minds, we don’t want to be out there and have a situation go down where somebody may be in danger or get hurt. It’s in the best of everyone’s interest. It’s a good thing.”
National Guard and state troopers lined up along Pratt Street a few blocks from the ballpark Tuesday morning.
Guard spokesman Lt. Charles Kohler said about 500 guardsmen are being deployed in Baltimore on Tuesday, and the force will build to about 2,000 though the day. He says that can build to 5,000, and officials also could call on Guard forces in neighboring states.
The rioting started in West Baltimore on Monday afternoon — within a mile of where Freddie Gray, 25, was arrested and placed into a police van earlier this month — and by midnight had spread to East Baltimore and neighborhoods close to downtown and near the baseball stadium.
At least 15 officers were hurt, including six who were hospitalized, police said. There were 144 vehicle fires, 15 structure fires and nearly 200 arrests, the mayor’s office said.
The streets were calm Tuesday morning. Residents came out to sweep up the broken glass and other debris. Firefighters could be seen spraying the burned-out shell of a large building.
“We’re not going to leave the city unprotected,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan vowed during a visit in the morning to a West Baltimore intersection that on Monday was littered with burning cars, a smashed police vehicle and broken glass.
“The most important thing is the safety of the fans and players so we’re going to do whatever it takes to come up with the best and safest solution,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.
The Sox are not scheduled to play in Baltimore after Wednesday, so rescheduling becomes challenging. The Orioles play the Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on July 3-5.
The Sox open a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis on Thursday night.