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Twins-Astros game suspended by rain, will resume Thursday

By Megan Ryan

MINNEAPOLIS — The heavens saw the Twins already down 5-1 in the fourth inning to the Astros and decided they'd seen enough.

Lightning, thunder, violent wind and torrential rainfall cut Wednesday's game at Target Field short, with the teams planning to finish the three-game series Thursday in a traditional doubleheader. Houston shut out the Twins 5-0 on Tuesday to snap the Twins' nine-game home winning streak.

Wednesday's suspended game will pick up where it left off at 12:10 p.m. Thursday, and the regularly scheduled game will begin 30 minutes after that ends. Each team will be able to use an additional player if needed.

The rainout dashed the MLB debut of Yennier Cano, called up Wednesday amid a slew of Twins injuries. He had just finished his warmup, taking starter Chris Archer's place on the mound to start the fourth, when the officials brought out the tarp.

Before the weather wreaked havoc, the Twins started the game strong. Archer pitched a one-two-three first inning while his hitters put up two extra-base hits, including an RBI double by Jorge Polanco.

But that slim lead didn't last long, as Archer put the first two Houston batters on base with singles in the second. Jeremy Pena scored one run on his sacrifice fly before Jose Siri drove in another with a single.

Houston really broke the game open in the third inning, starting with a leadoff homer from Jose Altuve. Archer then walked the bases loaded for Pena to smack a two-out, two-RBI single.

Archer (0-0, 3.26 ERA) tallied up 75 pitches in three innings, leaving with five hits, four earned runs, three walks and two strikeouts.

Byron Buxton made his return to the lineup after exiting this past Saturday's game with some hip tightness. In his two trips to the plate, he struck out and flew out. Buxton said pregame injuries don't dictate how he plays.

"I'm just going to go out there and play my game," Buxton said. "If I go out there and try to do something else, it would probably lead to more injuries or something worse. So just go out there, be myself and leave it out there."

Between his minor hip and knee injuries plus some scheduled off days, Buxton has sat out 11 of the Twins' 31 games so far this season. But he had managed to avoid going on the Injured List for any serious ailments.

Acting manager Jayce Tingler said the staff have tried to be cautious with Buxton, given his extensive injury history, and go easy on him early this year.

We understand that it's a long season," Tingler said, adding the shortened spring training also gave players less time to ramp up for the season. "Is there a time where he would play through some of those things? Absolutely. Right now, getting into the first month, starting the second month of the season, we just, we made the call that we're not going to power through, push through these things, and possibly create a bigger problem."

The Twins truly need every able body they can muster, with 14 players currently on the injured list. Tingler said there are a few who are nearing comebacks. Luis Arraez and Dylan Bundy are out of COVID-19 protocol but have taken the past two days to return to game form after several days in isolation at a Baltimore hotel. Bailey Ober threw a 20-pitch bullpen Wednesday as he recovers from a groin injury. Outfielder Kyle Garlick seems close to a rehab assignment after his calf issue.

And in the meantime, Tingler has been impressed with how the Triple-A callups have fit in and helped the team.

"We anticipated not only having to use the 40-man guys, but we kind of expected that it would take a group of 55, 56 guys to get where we want to get," Tingler said. "And we've seen that play out early."

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