DETROIT — An early season Central Division showdown in Motown will have to wait until tonight.
The opener of a three-game series between the Indians and Tigers was postponed Tuesday because of cold weather at Comerica Park. Snow fell during the morning hours, with temperatures hovering around 30 degrees for much of the day.
The Tigers made the decision to postpone the game and make it up at a later date. So the first series of the season between the teams has been reduced to two games.
“When I came out of the hotel, I was almost relieved (it was postponed), because it was cold,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Francona said the Indians will push their rotation back, which means a scheduled marquee matchup of aces Justin Masterson and Justin Verlander will not take place in the series finale Thursday.
Tuesday’s scheduled starter, Zach McAllister (1-0, 2.31 ERA), will pitch tonight (7:08) against right-hander Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 3.00), while Danny Salazar (0-1, 6.75) squares off against Verlander (1-1, 2.57) Thursday at 1:08 p.m.
Masterson (0-0, 5.87) will open a three-game series Friday against Toronto at Progressive Field, followed by Corey Kluber (1-1, 5.40) on Saturday.
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 7.84) has been in the bullpen, but he will return to the rotation to start the series finale Sunday against the Blue Jays.
It is the third postponement for Cleveland, which has already played two doubleheaders over the first two weeks of the season. Another twin bill might be on the horizon for the Indians, who could play the makeup during their next trip to Detroit (July 18-20) immediately after the All-Star break.
“You don’t want to get too many games backed up late in the season,” Francona said.