MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Saturday’s game between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins was postponed with heavy rain forecast in the area for much of the day.
The game has been rescheduled as part of a split doubleheader on Sept. 14 when Cleveland returns to Minnesota. Game 1 will be at 1:10 p.m. Central before the regularly scheduled 6:40 p.m. start.
Players remained in the clubhouse well after the scheduled 1:10 p.m. first pitch on Saturday. Rain had just started to fall when the postponement was announced.
The two teams are scheduled to play at 1:10 p.m. Central on Sunday. Cleveland will push Minnesota native Sam Hentges (1-1, 6.40 ERA) back a day to start Sunday’s game. The Twins will make a minor switch.
Left-hander J.A. Happ (3-3, 6.09) will stay in his scheduled spot and start Sunday. Kenta Maeda, who was scheduled to start Saturday, will instead start the opener of a four-game road series against the Chicago White Sox on Monday.
“We’re looking at the teams we’re playing,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said of the switch. “The Indians are a little more left-handed heavy.”
During his pregame video conference, Baldelli said it was unlikely a doubleheader would be scheduled for Sunday. Cleveland returns to Minnesota two more times this season and the September series includes a day off on each side for both teams.
“I think both teams had the preference for playing in September, but we had to work through that first with Major League Baseball,” Baldelli said after the postponement.
“When you do have to add another game into the mix, instead of burning an off day, adding the two seven-inning games can be OK. The fact that we have those off days surrounding that series does make it a lot easier to get back on track as far as our starting pitchers.”
Skipping a day now might be beneficial for both teams, who are dealing with injuries, particularly on the pitching side.
Right-hander Michael Pineda threw a simulated game on the field Sunday and will head out for a rehab start with Triple-A St. Paul this week. The Twins also put pitchers Randy Dobnak and Luke Farrell on the injured list the past two days, and they are also missing starting catcher Mitch Garver and center fielder Byron Buxton on the injured list.
The Indians have their top three starters on the injured list in Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale. Plesac threw a 32-pitch bullpen session on Sunday without complication. He had no restrictions on pitch type after previously being withheld from throwing his curveball.
With the postponement, Cleveland won’t need to adjust for Monday’s starter. The team had planned on calling up Logan Allen for a Monday home start against Detroit. Instead, Eli Morgan will start Monday followed by J.C. Mejia and Cal Quantrill.
Indians manager Terry Francona said he got good reports on reliever Cam Hill (right wrist surgery), who threw a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance on Friday, as well as outfielder Franmil Reyes, who went 1 for 3 on his rehab assignment.
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