Tigers-White Sox game postponed by rain
CHICAGO (AP) The Detroit Tigers will have to wait at least another day to try to snap out of their recent funk.
The second game of the Tigers' scheduled four-game series at the Chicago White Sox was postponed Tuesday night. The tarp stayed on the field all day as intermittent rain fell in the Chicago area. With more wet weather in the forecast for the rest of the night, the game was called about 2 hours before the scheduled start.
There was no immediate announcement of a makeup date for the first postponed White Sox home game of the season. Detroit returns to Chicago for a three-game series from Aug. 29-31.
The White Sox used the rainout to skip Andre Rienzo's turn in the rotation. Left-hander John Danks was moved back a day to Wednesday, and Chris Sale will pitch in the series finale on Thursday. Rienzo, who has dropped each of his last three starts, will pitch Sunday against Kansas City.
Detroit adjusted its rotation. Drew Smyly, who was slated to start Wednesday's game, was pushed out of the series altogether. Justin Verlander was moved back to Wednesday and Max Scherzer will face Sale on Thursday in a matchup of two of the best pitchers in the AL.
The Tigers dropped to 4-3 against the White Sox this season with a 6-5 loss in the series opener Monday night. Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Eugenio Suarez homered, but Rick Porcello struggled through five-plus innings.
AL Central-leading Detroit got off to a 27-12 start this season, but it has struggled of late. The Tigers, who won the division in each of the previous three seasons, have lost seven of nine and 15 of 21 overall.
Before the game was called, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus had Cabrera at designated hitter and Victor Martinez at first base for the second straight night. Cabrera left Sunday night's 5-3 loss to Boston with left hamstring tightness, but went 2 for 4 in Monday night's loss.
''He said he's feeling better today,'' Ausmus said. ''It's going to be wet out there. I don't know if he would have played the field anyway, but the fact that it's going to be raining on and off makes the decision easier to DH him.''
Cabrera is 8 for 14 with a homer and two RBIs in his last four games. The AL MVP the last two seasons is batting .329 with 12 homers and 52 RBIs in 2014, playing in each of Detroit's first 60 games.
''It's tough to get him out of the lineup because he's the best hitter in the game,'' Ausmus said.
While the Tigers have been sliding, they have received a boost from Suarez. The 22-year-old rookie shortstop is 4 for 11 with two homers in four major league games since he was recalled from Triple-A Toledo last Wednesday.
''It should give him confidence. He looks good with the bat. He's swinging the bat well,'' Ausmus said. ''The truth is that in baseball three weeks from now, if you're not swinging the bat well, your confidence is gone. You have to re-find. That happens to everybody at some point, without fail. I hope he goes through without ever struggling a day in his life. But chances are that's never going to happen.''
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap