Twins washed out by rain for second time in five days

DETROIT — Once Pablo López realized he wasn’t going to pitch on Wednesday at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers, as originally planned, because of a rainout last weekend, he started focusing his attention on the Twins’ first scheduled game in Detroit.

His prep included opening up the weather app, where he was greeted by an icon of a cloud with raindrops.

“I’m like, ‘Oh, man, maybe another one,’ ” López thought to himself. “You know how sometimes those change? Well, it didn’t change.”

For the second time in five days, the Twins had a game postponed due to rain, pushing López back yet another day. The Twins and Tigers are scheduled to play on Friday night in Detroit, and while more rain is in the forecast, they believe there could be a window to get a game in.

On Saturday, they will now play a straight afternoon doubleheader that will begin at 12:10 p.m. CT.

“It’s the American League Central,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It’s a Central special, is what we kind of have going on right now.”

Because of a rainy forecast, the Twins’ Sunday home game against Cleveland was moved to August when the Guardians return to Minnesota. Remarkably, the Twins didn’t have a single rainout last season and did not play a doubleheader.

Now, they have two on the schedule, and they’re trying to balance all the off days with getting into the routine of the season. The Twins have played 10 games since the season began on March 28. They’ve had three scheduled days off plus another two because of the weather.

“We always prefer to play. That’s how our schedule works best. We play a lot of games,” Baldelli said. “Doubling games up only makes things more difficult for everybody involved, but it’s part of the game, and we deal.”

The Twins have opted to stick to pushing all their starting pitchers back a day, with López starting on Friday, Joe Ryan scheduled for the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader and Bailey Ober listed as the starter for Sunday. They have yet to announce a starter for the second game on Saturday, but will be able to call up an additional player to add to the roster for the day.

For López, all the days off meant that he had a week in between his first and second start of the season. His second and third starts will be eight days apart. With that long a layoff, López said he likes to touch the mound a couple times in between starts with the time giving him a chance to work on some things that he might not otherwise have been able to.

“You can allow yourself to bump up the volume a little bit and have some more intent, whether you’re working on pitch shapes or whether you’re working on simulating 0-2 counts, put-away counts,” López said. “… Doing seven days (off), you get to do that two to three times a year. Eight days is a little more rare but (I) don’t stress about it too much.”

While the rain has made a schedule already front-loaded with off days even heavier on time off, there’s not much the Twins can do except prepare to play the next day — even if there’s more poor weather in the forecast.

“We want our hitters to hit and our pitchers to pitch but (it’s) not to be,” Baldelli said. “It’s not so.”

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