Game 2 of AL championship series postponed by rain

The Associated Press
Posted Oct. 09, 2011, at 5:13 p.m.

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Detroit Tigers are wet and wounded.

After Game 2 of the AL championship series in Texas was postponed Sunday because of more rain in the forecast, manager Jim Leyland said the Tigers have lost their second starting outfielder for the series.

Magglio Ordonez is out for the rest of the season after he re-fractured his right ankle, which was surgically repaired in July 2010. He had missed more than a month this summer because of problems with that ankle, then came out of the twice-interrupted ALCS opener.

“Magglio had just been talking three or four days ago about how he felt great, how he felt as good as he’s felt for a long time,” Leyland said.

Already without Delmon Young (left oblique), the Tigers lost to the defending AL champion Texas Rangers 3-2 in Game 1. The second game was rescheduled for 4:19 p.m. EDT Monday, and the teams will lose their travel day with Game 3 still set for Tuesday in Detroit.

Derek Holland pitches Monday for the Rangers against Max Scherzer, who gets an extra day after his 1 1-3 innings of relief in the Tigers’ AL division series clincher Thursday night against the New York Yankees.

The ALCS opener was stopped by rain twice in the top of the fifth inning Saturday night for a total of 1 hour, 50 minutes.

Ordonez, who had walked to load the bases during a 13-minute resumption of play between the delays, was replaced by a pinch runner when the game restarted for good. Leyland was told during the second stoppage of play that the ankle was bothering Ordonez again.

“When the trainer came in during the rain delay and told me, I was almost flabbergasted, to be honest with you,” Leyland said. “It doesn’t appear that there was any significant movement or anything that did it. It just all of a sudden it flared up.”

Leyland said the results of medical tests Sunday showed “a situation there that is not conducive to playing the rest of the year.”

The manager didn’t elaborate, but the Tigers later released the results of X-rays and a CT scan done Sunday that showed the re-fracture.

At 6:45 p.m. CDT, the scheduled first pitch Sunday, there were mostly overcast skies, though the sun had tried to peek through the clouds just before then. There was rain to the East but none at Rangers Ballpark, where the tarp covered the field. The only water visible were a few puddles on the warning track against the wall after the field had been inundated by heavy rains overnight.

But there was a forecast for more rain in the area Sunday night, and officials were wary of a repeat of what happened Saturday.

“We felt with the forecast that we had that we didn’t want to experience what we did last night. … With the forecast for this evening, it appears that it’s going to be a duplication of what we saw,” Rangers president Nolan Ryan said. “The one thing we’re concerned about is the integrity of the game and not put either team in a situation where possibly the elements could affect the outcome of the game.”

The forecast Monday called for only a 10 percent chance of rain.

The rain delays Saturday night were the first at Rangers Ballpark since May 24. This season was played during one of the hottest and driest summers in North Texas, including 27 games when the temperature was 100 degrees or more at first pitch.

Both of Detroit’s playoff series openers this season have been plagued by rain with ace Justin Verlander on the mound.

Verlander threw one inning and 25 pitches in the division series opener at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 30 when that game was suspended by rain. The right-hander who won 24 games in the regular season came back and started Game 3, winning as he threw 120 pitches with 11 strikeouts over eight innings.

The likely AL Cy Young Award winner threw 25 first-inning pitches again Saturday at Texas, and had 82 in four innings before the first delay.

Though Leyland had planned to bring Verlander back after the first delay, that changed since it had been nearly two hours since his last pitch when the game finally resumed for good.

Rick Porcello, Detroit’s scheduled Game 4 starter, had two scoreless innings after replacing Verlander and Leyland had indicated he could possibly alter his planned rotation.

On Sunday, Leyland said he was sticking to his original plan for Scherzer to be followed by Doug Fister and Porcello. Verlander would pitch Game 5 in Detroit scheduled for Thursday.

“He’ll pitch Game 5 under any circumstances,” the manager said.

Leyland stuck to a similar decision in the last series, when Verlander was never considered to pitch in relief in the ALDS finale and was ready to go on regular rest for his start against the Rangers.

As for Ordonez, he was re-signed to a $10 million, one-year deal by the Tigers last December after he broke his ankle sliding into home plate midway through the 2010 season. He struggled early this year, then missed a month before returning to the lineup in June.

After hitting a career-low .255 with five homers and 32 RBIs in 92 games during the regular season, Ordonez was 5-for-13 in the postseason.

“I saw him in the training room in between the rain delay. As far as how bad it was, nobody really knew how bad it was,” outfielder Ryan Raburn said. “That was unfortunate for us. He’s a veteran presence in the lineup we’ll definitely miss. We’ll need other guys to step up like we have done all year.”

Raburn started in left field for the opener in place of Young, who was left off the ALCS roster after he reaggravated an earlier left oblique injury against the Yankees. Unlike Ordonez, Young would be eligible to return for the World Series if the Tigers advance.

Detroit didn’t immediately say who will replace Ordonez on its active roster.

“They’ve been resilient all year,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “It’s unfortunate, but sometimes there’s not much you can do about it. But they will come out tomorrow, and they will have intentions on winning the ballgame.”

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/10/09/sports/game-2-of-al-championship-series-postponed-by-rain/ printed on August 20, 2014