Twins not having weather luck this season

MINNEAPOLIS  — The Minnesota Twins went through a seemingly charmed first season in outdoor Target Field last year, with the kind of weather luck that is unheard of in these parts.

They may be paying for it in season No. 2.

The Twins postponed their game with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday due to heavy rain in the Twin Cities. It's their second postponement in the first month of the season after having just one all of last year.

"We know we'll never have a year with better weather than we had last year," Twins GM Bill Smith said. "We're going to get through this. It's part of baseball."

The Twins moved indoors under the Teflon roof of the Metrodome in 1982, protected from the often harsh early and late-season Minnesota weather through 2009. Last year they opened sparkling Target Field, a gem of a stadium that some worried would be tarnished by the lack of a roof to keep players and fans out of the elements.


Those worries were unfounded in the inaugural season, with one postponement and one game suspended in the entirety of the season. Spring has been much slower to arrive in Minnesota this year, and cold rain postponed a game against Cleveland last week and now the Rays this week.

The Rays makeup game was rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on Thursday. The first game will be played at as originally scheduled at 12:10 p.m., with the makeup game at 7:10 p.m. That means the Rays won't get home until Friday morning and have to play the Los Angeles Angels later that night.

Teams generally don't like to schedule doubleheaders on getaway days, but the Twins didn't have much of a choice with the Indians makeup game already being pushed likely into July. Both teams had Monday off and also have next Monday off, which means both teams are well rested.

If they waited until July to reschedule it when the Rays come back to town it would be difficult because the Twins do not have an off day in the month after the three-day All-Star break, Smith said.

"You don't want to push too much into the summer," Smith said.

It's not just the Twins who are having problems with the weather. Sixteen games have been postponed this season already, just five off the total for all of last year.

Francisco Liriano was scheduled to start the game on Tuesday night, and the Twins said the lefty would be pushed back to start today. Wade Davis was scheduled to go for the Rays, but the team did not announce if he would go today.

The Rays started the season 0-6, but have rebounded with 10 victories in their last 14 games to climb back to .500. Tampa Bay starters have worked seven or more innings in 11 of the past 12 games and posted a 2.46 ERA over that span.


A win on Wednesday would mark the first time this season the Rays (11-11) have been over .500.

• Joe Mauer is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Thursday but won't be ready, team officials say.

Mauer, 28, was placed on the DL because of bilateral leg weakness. Smith said Mauer is past a viral infection and working hard to rebuild leg strength, but he lost a week of recovery time on the leg issue due to the virus.

Mauer might do a minor league rehab stint.

Smith said second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka (broken left fibula) "is on schedule, if not ahead of schedule." Nishioka was injured April 7 and at the time it was said he would need four to six weeks to return.

Kevin Slowey (strained biceps muscle) has an extended spring training start today and is expected back soon. His 15-day DL time ended last Saturday.

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