NEW YORK (AP) — After fans waited through a 2 1/2-hour rain delay, Major League Baseball postponed the decisive Game 5 of the AL Division Series between Cleveland and New York — and the Yankees announced Nestor Cortes will start on short rest Tuesday against the Guardians.
Cleveland was expected to stay with Aaron Civale for the game, which was rescheduled for 4:07 p.m.
Neither manager spoke with media after Monday night’s rainout, and Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said Aaron Boone had texted him with the change to Cortes in place of Jameson Taillon.
The game was scheduled to start at 7:07 p.m., and the postponement was announced at 9:38 p.m.
“Once it became clear that it was going to be well after 10 o’clock when the game was going to start, I think we felt like it was a no-brainer,” said Chris Marinak, MLB’s chief operations and strategy officer.
The winner will have a short turnaround, traveling to Houston to face the Astros in the AL Championship Series starting Wednesday at 6:37 p.m. CDT.
Cortes, a first-time All-Star who went 12-4 this season, allowed two runs over five innings Friday in Game 2, which the Yankees lost 4-2 in 10 innings. He threw 99 pitches.
His only time starting on short rest was Sept. 10, 2019, at Detroit, when he was used as an opener and left with a 6-1 lead and two runners on in the third inning. Cortes allowed four runs — two earned — and six hits in 2 1/3 innings while throwing 46 pitches in the Yankees’ 12-11 loss. He had thrown 16 pitches in relief four days earlier at Fenway Park.
The Yankee Stadium grounds crew pulls the rain tarp over the field during a rain delay before Game 5 of an American League Division baseball series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Guardians, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)