The opening game of the Yankees’ first series at the new outdoor stadium in Minneapolis was suspended after the fifth inning Tuesday night due to the increased intensity of a storm that brought steady rain beginning in the bottom of the second inning. The game, which remained scoreless when lightening strikes and heavier rains forced the umpires to call out the tarp after the bottom of the fifth, will be made up at 4:05 central time, 5:05 eastern on Wednesday afternoon with the regularly scheduled game between the two teams to follow thirty minutes after the last out, or at 6:10 central/7:10 eastern, whichever is later. The rain delay and eventual suspension of the game was the first weather-related delay of a Twins home game since September 26, 1981, the Twins’ fifth-to-last game at their previous outdoor home, Metropolitan Stadium.
There was very little action in the first five innings as both starters, A.J. Burnett for the Yankees and Scott Baker for the Twins, were sharp, allowing just three hits and no runs. Burnett walked two but struck out five, while Baker walked just one and struck out just two but needed only 50 pitches to get through five innings.
The only batter to reach third base for either team was Denard Span, who led off the bottom of the first with a walk, stole second, and moved to third when Joe Mauer grounded out for the second out. He was stranded when Michael Cuddyer ground out to short after Burnett pitched carefully to Justin Morneau and walked him.
The only Yankee to reach second was Derek Jeter who led off the fourth with a single to center, then moved up on a walk to Brett Gardner, who had singled in the first and thus showed signs of breaking out of his slump by reaching base in both of his plate appearances. Jeter was stranded when a still-struggling Mark Teixeira, who erased Gardner in the first via a double play, popped out, Alex Rodriguez struck out, and Robinson Cano flied out.
Thanks to that double play off the bat of Teixeira, Baker faced the minimum through the first three innings. Burnett countered by retiring eight straight from the third through the fifth, a streak broken when Span took advantage of the soft ground by dropping down a two-out bunt base hit that stopped dead a quarter of the way up the third base line. Span then stole second again, but Burnett struck out Orlando Hudson to strand him. After that, the game was delayed for about an hour and a half before being suspended. No word on who will pitch for either team in the sixth inning tomorrow.