NEW YORK (AP) _ The playoff opener between the Detroit Tigers
and New York Yankees was suspended because of rain in the second
inning Friday night, probably wiping out the ace of each pitching
staff for a few days.

Justin Verlander started for Detroit against CC Sabathia in a
highly anticipated matchup between two of the game’s best pitchers.
The score was tied at 1 in the middle of the second inning when
play was halted.

According to a rule adopted by Major League Baseball two years
ago, the game is not postponed. Instead, it will pick up Saturday
night at the point of suspension _ weather permitting _ with the
Yankees coming to bat in the second inning. The forecast calls for
rain through late Saturday night.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said rookie Ivan Nova will start
Saturday. He had been slated to go in Game 2, which was moved back
to Sunday at 3:07 p.m., a scheduled day off in the best-of-five
American League series.

Freddy Garcia will now get the ball in the second game instead
of Game 3, Girardi said.
Doug Fister, the Tigers’ scheduled starter for Game 2, will
pitch when Game 1 resumes.

Delmon Young homered for the Tigers and Alex Rodriguez had an
RBI groundout, both in the first inning. All statistics from Friday
night will count.

Verlander, who won the pitching version of the Triple Crown in
the AL this season, threw 25 pitches in the first inning. Rain
began falling with Mark Teixeira at the plate, the eighth batter of
the game.

The downpour intensified in the top of the second as Sabathia
worked a perfect inning with a pair of strikeouts. Fans at Yankee
Stadium scampered up the aisles for cover on the concourse, and a
shimmering pool of water formed in front of home plate. Tigers
second baseman Ryan Raburn shook the raindrops off his helmet tried
to dry his bat by wiping it under his arm.

After the inning, all six umpires huddled with a member of the
Yankee Stadium grounds crew at the mound and then called for the

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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