Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros were given a welcomed do-over.
The Minnesota Twins had their strong start washed away.
The Astros-Twins game was postponed Wednesday night by rain that came in the top of the third inning and never quit, and Major League Baseball finally made the decision after a 2 1/2-hour delay.
The game will be reset Thursday night as the second half of a doubleheader, following the regularly scheduled afternoon game. That means the 5-0 lead the Twins took off Keuchel, including Brian Dozier’s leadoff home run, has been erased.
”You get off to a good start against a good pitcher and you’ve got your best guy out there and you’ve just got to wipe it off the slate,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said, with a hint of weariness in his voice. ”Unfortunate. Good for them.”
After the Twins tagged the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner with four runs in the second, sending 10 batters to the plate as dark clouds rolled in and lightning flashed in the distance, the skies opened up and the fans hurried for cover.
Twins starter Ervin Santana left the mound with a disappointed look with one out and a big lead in the third as the umpires waved the players off the field and the grounds crew hustled to retrieve the tarp. White umbrellas, designed to look like baseballs, were conveniently given away to the first 10,000 customers who entered.
”You never know how it’s going to end, but we’ll take the restart,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
The Astros, who began the day four games behind in the crowded AL wild card race, have gone 41-27 since May 22. That’s the third-best record in the major leagues since then. Part of the problem during the slow start was Keuchel, who is a mere 7-11 with a 4.56 ERA this season.
He was coming off a three-hit shutout of division-leading Texas in his last turn, another sign he was getting back in a groove.
”Felt good. Felt like it was an extension of the last start. Next thing I know, there’s five runs on the board,” Keuchel said. ”So that’s disappointing.”
Dozier hit what would have been his 24th home run of the season. Then the Astros let Keuchel down with errors by third baseman Alex Bregman and shortstop Carlos Correa, leading to two unearned runs.
”I’ll take this mulligan and hopefully come back next start hot,” Keuchel said.