ARLINGTON, Texas — Justin Verlander and the Tigers were again halted by rain.
The AL Championship Series opener went into a rain delay in the top of the fifth inning Saturday night with the Rangers leading 3-0, then after resuming 41 minutes later went into a second delay around 10:35 p.m. with the Tigers in the midst of a rally that had cut the deficit to 3-2.
Verlander had thrown one inning and 25 pitches in the AL Division Series opener at the Yankees on Sept. 30 when that game was suspended. Under a rules change adopted two years ago, postseason games are suspended instead of being cut short or wiped out. Verlander came back and started Game 3, which he won, and threw 82 pitches against Texas before the delay.
After the fourth inning at Rangers Ballpark, the groundskeeper went out and spoke with plate umpire Tim Welke, certainly about the weather.
Minutes later, after Ramon Santiago led off the fifth with a double and with Brandon Inge batting with 1-and-0 count against C.J. Wilson, the intensity of the rain picked up. Welke stopped the game and had the field covered.
Wilson returned to the mound when the game resumed. Inge grounded out, but Austin Jackson followed with a double to right to drive in Santiago and make it 3-1. Wilson walked Ryan Raburn and Miguel Cabrera, then unleashed a wild pitch with Victor Martinez batting that scored Jackson.
Wilson induced a comebacker from Martinez, but after an intentional walk to Magglio Ordonez, the rains picked up again and the tarp came back onto the field.
Wilson had thrown 96 pitches by the time of the second delay. He had allowed two runs on six hits in 42/3 innings, with six strikeouts and five walks.
It was Wilson's second start of this postseason. He was hammered by the Rays in his first, a 9-0 loss in Game 1 of the ALDS.
Texas took a 2-0 lead in the second on David Murphy's RBI triple and Ian Kinsler's RBI single.
Nelson Cruz homered leading off the fourth, ending an 0-for-10 postseason slump. It was his seventh postseason homer, breaking a tie with Juan Gonzalez for the Rangers' franchise record.
Verlander had five strikeouts and two walks in the first four innings. Both walks came in the first, when he also struck out Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre to avoid giving up a run even after Jackson's error in center when a fly ball by Elvis Andrus hit off the heel of his glove.
ALCS: Rangers vs. Tigers
Game 1: at Rangers, late Tonight, 7:45: Tigers (Scherzer, 15-9, 4.43) at Rangers (Holland, 16-5, 3.95) Tuesday, 8:05: Rangers (Lewis, 14-10, 4.40) at Tigers (Fister, 11-13, 2.83) Wednesday, 4:19: Rangers (Harrison, 14-9, 3.39) at Tigers (Porcello, 14-9, 4.75) Thursday, 4:19: Rangers (TBA) at Tigers (TBA) * Oct. 15, 8:05: Tigers (TBA) at Rangers (TBA) * Oct. 16, 8:05: Tigers (TBA) at Rangers (TBA) *
* If necessary; all games on Ch. 13