Rays-Yankees game postponed due to severe weather forecast
By MIKE FITZPATRICK
NEW YORK (AP) Rain keeps interrupting the New York Yankees' sunny season.
The scheduled game between the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays was postponed Wednesday night due to a forecast of thunderstorms and severe weather.
Though no showers were falling yet on a humid evening in the Bronx, the game was called about 35 minutes before it was supposed to start - drawing groans from some fans scattered throughout the stands. But less than two hours later, it was pouring at Yankee Stadium as lightning flashed in the sky.
The game will be made up Thursday as part of a single-admission doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. After that, Tampa Bay is not scheduled to return to New York this season.
"Obviously, it kind of stinks. But maybe not the worst thing," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I kind of like the off day to freshen up the bullpen a little bit."
New York leads the AL East by six games over the Rays. The teams split their first two matchups this week and the Yankees hold a 10-5 advantage in the season series.
It was the sixth postponement for the Yankees this year and their 16th game rained out or delayed because of weather - plus a power outage that caused a 43-minute stoppage at Tampa Bay in May. Thursday will mark their fourth doubleheader, with two more scheduled in August.
Tampa Bay just split a twinbill Saturday in Baltimore.
"They're making it sound like it was going to be really nasty weather," Cash said.
Yonny Chirinos (8-4) had been set to pitch for the Rays against Domingo German. Tampa Bay will remain in rotation, with Chirinos starting the opener Thursday followed by All-Star right-hander Charlie Morton (11-2).
New York will go with German (11-2) in Game 1, but did not announce a pitcher for the nightcap. Left-hander J.A. Happ (7-5) will be pushed back a day to Friday night against Colorado.
"It's just, we decided with the consecutive games, we'd have to insert somebody," manager Aaron Boone said. "We just figured we'd do it now."
Boone was asked what he was told about the weather forecast.
"That the storms have filled in and that there's a line of them that anywhere from 7 to 7:30 to 8 or 8:30 on some, and then going to be here for a while," he said.
Earlier in the day, the Yankees acquired speedy outfielder Terrance Gore from Kansas City for $100,000. Gore was not added to the 40-man roster, and will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The 5-foot-7 Gore is one of the fastest players in the majors and could be called up when major league rosters expand in September. He gives the Yankees a potential pinch-runner deluxe in the late innings of critical games - perhaps even come playoff time in October.
"Obviously depth, and obviously a guy with a lot of speed that can play a certain role for you down the stretch," Boone said.
A right-handed hitter, the 28-year-old Gore was designated for assignment by the rebuilding Royals last week. He batted .275 (14 for 51) with 13 stolen bases in 18 attempts over a career-high 37 games for Kansas City this year. He has played in 100 games over six big league seasons, going 15 for 67 (.224) with 40 steals in 49 tries.
Gore swiped four bases in five attempts during the 2014 and `15 postseasons, doing his part to help the Royals win consecutive AL pennants and a World Series championship.
NOT SO FAST
Hard-throwing Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman rebutted a report that indicated he's already very likely to opt out of his contract after this season.
"I haven't even spoken to my agent about it," Chapman told reporters, speaking through a translator. "Contract stuff hasn't even crossed my mind right now."
Chapman said he would like to stay with the Yankees.
"The truth is, honestly, I feel really good here. There is no reason to think about changes or anything like that. I feel great here. Eventually, when the season is over, I'll sit down and talk about it, but there is no need right now," he said. "I'm happy here. I want to stay here for sure."
Rays: INF Matt Duffy, on the 60-day injured list with a left hamstring issue, was scheduled to play nine innings in a rehab game at Triple-A Durham.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino and RHP Dellin Betances, both out all season with lat injuries that followed shoulder trouble, played catch again from 60 feet and were scheduled to do so again Thursday, tossing on consecutive days for the first time since ramping back up. Both pitchers are still probably at least a couple of weeks from getting on a mound, Boone said. ... The club hopes OF Cameron Maybin (left calf) will be ready to begin a minor league rehab assignment when the Yankees go on the road next week. ... RHP Ben Heller (elbow surgery) had his rehab assignment halted after experiencing an elbow/forearm issue, Boone said. Heller was heading to New York to see a doctor.
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Updated July 17, 2019