MINNEAPOLIS — Indians manager Terry Francona said he sees the Indians gaining “another gear” once Edwin Encarnacion gets in a groove.
Francona hopes the 34-year-old slugger, who has 312 career home runs, found something Tuesday night when he hit his second home run in an 11-4 win over the Twins after going 12 straight games without one.
“Little by little,” Encarnacion, who is hitting just .212, said through a translator, “I feel better.”
“I don’t have the scientific formula, but good hitters, as cold as they get, they get just that hot,” Francona said. “They get to their level and when he does, it will be fun to watch because he’ll do some damage.”
The weather did all the damage Wednesday.
About 4½ hours before the scheduled first pitch, Twins president Dave St. Peter announced the game will be rescheduled as part of a split Saturday doubleheader June 17 with afternoon and night games, when the Indians return to Minnesota for a weekend series.
Rain was falling by midafternoon, and the evening forecast showed no sign of a letup that could create a dry window in which to play.
The rain gave the Twins a reprieve from their three-game losing streak. They caught a break with Cleveland’s rearranged rotation, too.
The Twins will take what they can get. After falling back to the .500 mark following an encouraging early start, manager Paul Molitor was eager to gauge his fledgling team’s fortitude for escaping a slump.
“My gut would say we’re probably better,” Molitor said. “We have some people that know how to handle that fairly well. We’ve been through it enough that we should have a little experience in that regard. We still have some chances here.”
So after losing twice to the defending American League champion Indians in the first two games of the series, the Twins learned they’ll miss Cleveland ace Corey Kluber. In the last game of the series today, Trevor Bauer (0-2, 8.44 ERA) will pitch for Cleveland after being bumped back a day because of the rainout.
That pushed Kluber, the 2014 AL Cy Young Award holder and 18-game winner in 2016, into the next series this weekend in Chicago. The Twins (7-7) decided to skip rookie Aldalberto Mejia in the rotation and keep top starter Ervin Santana (3-0, 0.41 ERA) on schedule.
This was the first postponement for the Twins this year and only their 16th in eight seasons at Target Field. They’ve had 33 games delayed by rain since moving outdoors, including a 36-minute wait to play last week against Chicago.
AP sportswriter Jon Krawczynski contributed to this report.