CLEVELAND — The Tigers and Indians stopped before they started.
Following a lengthy delay before the first pitch, Tuesday night’s game between Detroit and Cleveland Indians was postponed by rain.
Both starting pitchers warmed up in the outfield bullpens and it appeared the second game of the series between the AL Central teams was set to start on time when the grounds crew brought out the tarp just minutes ahead of the first pitch.
Only a light rain came down in Progressive Field before it was officially called after an 87-minute delay, triggering boos from disappointed fans.
The game was rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday, two seven-inning games starting at 4 p.m. The weather forecast, however, is not very promising.
Detroit’s José Ureña will start the opener against Cal Quantrill. Tigers right-hander Wily Peralta is scheduled to start the second game against Indians left-hander Logan Allen, who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Monday.
Indians right-hander J.C. Mejia warmed up for Tuesday’s game but will now be bumped back to Thursday, when Cleveland opens four-game set with the Houston Astros.
Baseball’s crackdown on pitchers using foreign substances to improve their grip has created other sticky messes.
Players are being extra careful when using rosin so as not to get any on their glove or face a possible ejection or suspension. Seattle’s Héctor Santiago became the first player disciplined, receiving a 10-game ban that he’s appealing.
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said the sultry summer weather complicates things.
“We’re going to have to start to have quarterback towels when you play in a place like Cleveland right now, it’s super sweaty and humid,” he said. “Some of the hot temperature days is creating a lot of confusion and everyone is tip-toeing scared to death that they are going to end up with a substance in an area that it’s not supposed to be there — albeit unintended or very innocent.”
Indians outfielder Josh Naylor, who broke his right ankle in a nasty on-field collision Sunday, has a Wednesday morning appointment with a foot specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.
Naylor will undergo surgery and likely miss the remainder of the season.
The 24-year-old got hurt when he slammed into rookie second baseman Ernie Clement while chasing after a pop in short right field at Minnesota.
Tigers: RHP Spencer Turnbull (forearm tightness) will likely begin throwing off a mound in Florida this week as he eyes a possible return to Detroit’s roster next month. ... RHP Alex Lange (shoulder strain) is completing his rehab in Toledo with bullpen sessions before going on a rehab assignment.
Indians: The team is awaiting results on a shoulder scan taken on ace Shane Bieber, the 2020 AL Cy Young winner who was shut down earlier this month with soreness. After the exam, Francona said Bieber made 100 “dry” deliveries on the field. “He was excited,” Francona said. “He put his spikes on.”