Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander walks off the field after warming up before a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, in Cleveland. The game was postponed due to the weather. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak
September 11, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Indians' quest to get back to .500 for the first time since early April was halted by rain.

The Indians and Detroit Tigers had their Friday night game postponed by a downpour that started around 3 p.m. The game never began and will be made up as part of a traditional doubleheader Sunday starting at 1:10 p.m.

Justin Verlander, who has won two of his last three outings, was scheduled to start Friday against rookie Cody Anderson. The two will start Saturday's game at 7:10 p.m.

Verlander, who missed the first two months of the season with a right triceps injury, is 3-7 with a 3.43 ERA in 15 starts.

Cleveland (69-70) hasn't been at the .500 mark since the fourth game of the season. The Indians have won 11 of 15 and six straight at Progressive Field. Cleveland entered Friday four games behind Texas for the second AL wild card spot and is also trailing Minnesota and Los Angeles.

Two home runs by Michael Brantley led the Indians to a 7-5 win in Thursday night's series opener. Brantley's solo homer in the seventh gave Cleveland the lead and his two-run shot off Blaine Hardy in the eighth broke a 5-all tie.

Cleveland's latest win also featured three assists by right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall. He became the first outfielder with three assists in a game since Kansas City's Mark Teahen in 2007.

Chisenhall began the season as the starting third baseman, but was sent to Triple-A Columbus in June. He began playing the outfield in the minors and has made 26 starts since being recalled in July.

''He has turned himself into probably one of the better right fielders in the game,'' manager Terry Francona said.

Detroit, which has lost 15 of 20, is last in the AL Central with a 64-76 mark. Reports surfaced late Thursday that the Tigers had already decided to fire manager Brad Ausmus. General manager Al Avila released a statement Friday saying evaluations are ongoing and decisions in those areas will be made at the end of the season.

Catcher Alex Avila, the general manager's son, doesn't think Ausmus should be blamed for the Tigers' poor record.

''I think he's done a good job, but this year, he's been dealt a tough hand with the injuries,'' Avila said. ''You've heard it before: A manager is as good as his players - and we haven't had a good year.''


Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (strained right oblique) and RHP Anibal Sanchez (strained rotator cuff) will both throw simulated games Saturday, likely pitching in Cleveland's indoor batting cages.

Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (strained right hamstring) threw a bullpen session Friday and could rejoin the rotation next week.


Tigers: Verlander makes his 24th career start in Cleveland, where he is 9-12 with a 5.35 ERA. The former AL MVP is 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA against the Indians this year.

Indians: Anderson seeks his second victory over Detroit in six days. The rookie threw seven scoreless innings and earned a 4-0 win at Comerica Park on Sept. 6.

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