ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Steady rain forced the postponement of Saturday’s game between the AL West-leading Texas Rangers and the wild-card hopeful Los Angeles Angels.
Officials waited as long as possible trying to play, but rain persisted throughout the day. The game was called about 7 p.m. local time, about four hours after its scheduled start.
The game was rescheduled Sunday as part of a day-night doubleheader, the first ever at Rangers Ballpark.
Yu Darvish (16-9), set to start Sunday after missing his last game with neck stiffness, is expected to start the opener for Texas. Saturday’s scheduled starter Derek Holland (11-6) will get the second game.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the game that Zack Grienke, the scheduled starter Sunday, will pitch the first game. Ervin Santana (9-12), who was supposed to pitch Saturday, will get the second game.
When the game was finally postponed, it was raining as hard as it had all day. The forecast was for rain to continue until after midnight.
The magic number for the Rangers (92-65) to win their third consecutive division title remained at three. Second-place Oakland won 7-4 in 10 innings over Seattle on Saturday.
Texas is assured a playoff spot by winning one of the two games Sunday. Those will be the last home games of the regular season, the first at 12:05 p.m. CT, and the second scheduled to start six hours later.
The Athletics, who host Texas for a regular season-ending three-game series starting Monday, moved within 2 1/2 games of the division lead. They moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the Angels (87-70) for the American League’s second wild card spot.
During the rain delay, Oakland’s game was shown on the huge video board at Rangers Ballpark. Texas fans who huddled under umbrellas or sat in covered seats were cheering for Seattle. They groaned when A’s hit a tying homer in the ninth inning and won in the 10th with another long ball.
Playing a doubleheader could be a worst-case scenario for the Angels because of the potential of an extra game to get in the playoffs.
If the Angels wind up in a tie for the second wild card, they would be forced into a tiebreaker game Thursday just for the right to play the following day in the one-game wild card to determine who would advance to the AL division series.
Santana or Greinke would be the options to pitch on short rest in a tiebreaker game.
But the Angels have to get there first, or get the second wild card outright. They need help to get there, and a loss by the A’s certain did them no favors.
There were overcast skies and some drizzle during Friday night’s game, but no issues or delays as Jered Weaver won his 20th game.
Weaver’s next scheduled start is the Angels’ regular-season finale Wednesday at Seattle.
The Angels have won 10 of their last 14 games, and their 17-8 record is the AL’s best in September. They have won 12 of their last 16 road games to stay in the playoff chase.
Texas has lost three of its last four games.