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Tigers' finale with Twins postponed by rain

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers' game on Sunday against the Twins was postponed due to rain. No makeup date has been announced. The Tigers return to Minnesota two more times this season -- Aug. 22-24 and Sept. 15-17.

With an off-day scheduled for Monday, Sunday's scheduled starter, Justin Verlander, will be pushed back to Tuesday in Chicago. Verlander will be followed by Max Scherzer, assuming there are no weather concerns in Chicago -- not exactly a safe assumption given the forecast, as well as Detroit's luck with the elements so far this season.

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The Tigers have already had two other postponements due to weather this month. This will be their second stretch of consecutive days without a game. They previously had a day off on April 14, followed by a postponement due to cold weather on April 15.

By May 1, the Tigers will have had six scheduled days off and three postponements in 32 days -- and that, again, is assuming the weather cooperates in Chicago this week. Add it all up, and it's one big headache for Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and his staff.

"The off-days and the rain days have killed our rotation," said Ausmus. "No one can get in any type of rhythm. Guys are going on five days' rest, four days' rest, six days' rest. The off-days and the weather have been brutal on the rotation."

While extra time off is beneficial for the Tigers' bullpen, it hasn't exactly been a picnic for the position players, either.

"I don't think it's helped them at all," Ausmus said. "The idea of being in a comfort zone and getting into a rhythm applies to hitters as much as it does to pitchers."

The players were already at Target Field on Sunday when the game was postponed, so instead of flying immediately to Chicago, the team stuck around to get some work done in the Twins' indoor facilities. The Tigers can't work out at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday because the White Sox have a game there against Tampa Bay.

Moving forward, the rotation tentatively plays out with Rick Porcello, Drew Smyly and Verlander pitching next weekend at Kansas City. With Anibal Sanchez going on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, the Tigers will need to figure out their fifth starter for May 6 against Houston.

But again, that's all weather permitting, a phrase Ausmus is already getting tired of hearing.

"Overall," said Ausmus, "the weather has been a hindrance."

Patrick Donnelly is a contributor to

Detroit Tigers, Justin Verlander