CLEVELAND (AP)The Cleveland Indians postponed Wednesday night’s game against the Kansas City Royals because of rain and rescheduled it for next week.
The postponement was announced about three hours before the scheduled 6:10 p.m. EDT first pitch.
Cleveland rescheduled the game for Monday at 1:10 p.m..
The AL Central race could be decided in Cleveland this week when the Chicago White Sox and Indians play a five-game series scheduled to begin Thursday with a day-night doubleheader.
Chicago leads the AL Central by 10 1/2 games and its magic number to clinch the division is two. The White Sox, who have lost five of seven, were rained out at Detroit on Wednesday.
The White Sox last won the division in 2008 and are trying to reach the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time. Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez is scheduled to start the first game. Chicago hasn’t announced its starter in the second game. Right-handers Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale are Cleveland’s scheduled starters.
Shane Bieber, who hasn’t pitched since for the Indians since June 13 because of a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to start Friday night. The reigning AL Cy Young winner threw 57 pitches in a minor league start for Double-A Akron on Sunday and had a bullpen session Tuesday.
”He felt pretty good so we’re comfortable with starting him Friday,” interim manager DeMarlo Hale said. ”We’ll definitely put a pitch count om him. We haven’t established that yet but it won’t be too big of a jump from a rehab game in the minors. I wouldn’t expect it to be a 20 to 25 pitch jump, 12 to 15 at the most.”
Bieber is 7-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 starts. He went 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA in 12 starts during the shortened 2020 season.
Kansas City is off Thursday and opens a three-game series at Detroit on Friday night. Right-hander Carlos Hernandez is scheduled to start for the Royals.
The postponement occurred on the 51st birthday of Royals manager Mike Matheny.
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