Tigers-Indians game to be made up only if it affects AL playoffs

DETROIT -- Thursday's game between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians was postponed because of bad weather after a delay of 4 hours, 13 minutes.

"When we walked the field, it was so soft that we knew if it took any more water, it was going to be unplayable," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "So we were already iffy at that point, and then we got all the rest of the rain."

A makeup game would be played Monday only if it would affect which American League teams would make the postseason or how teams are seeded.

The postseason is supposed to begin Tuesday with the AL wild-card game. The Tigers are 1 1/2 games behind Baltimore and Toronto for the AL's two wild cards entering Friday's games.

Cleveland clinched the AL Central title on Monday, but the Indians are still in the hunt for home-field advantage as they are 2 1/2 games behind AL West champion Texas and one-half game behind AL East champion Boston entering Friday.

The Indians aren't supposed to start the ALDS until Oct. 6, so there will be time off even if they have to play Monday.

"We'd still get two days," Francona said. "Besides, I don't know, it might be fun to play in a game like that, with something at stake."

The teams played just five innings Wednesday night because of rain -- won by the Tigers 6-3. The scheduled series finale Thursday never began, and the Tigers said over 6 inches of rain fell at Comerica Park.

"We know what is at stake, especially with the bad weather forecasts for the East Coast," Francona said. "If we were 20 games out, it would have been different, but we understood why they wanted to try to avoid everything getting backed up, and they did a great job of communicating with us."

Detroit begins a three-game series at Atlanta on Friday night, and Cleveland starts a three-game set at Kansas City.

The rainout allows Detroit to push starter Daniel Norris (3-2) to Friday's game against the Braves, and Jordan Zimmermann will start Saturday night. The Tigers were initially set to choose between Matt Boyd and Buck Farmer for Saturday, but now they can avoid that issue.

Justin Verlander is slated to pitch Sunday.

Cleveland will push its Thursday starter back a day, too. Ryan Merritt (0-0) will pitch Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.