ALCS Game 1 halted in fifth inning by two rain delays

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A fairly sizable rain storm is now making its way through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so the Rangers’ groundscrew has rolled out the tarp and put a temporary halt to Game 1 of the ALCS. There’s been no estimate as to when the action might resume.

The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning courtesy of a David Murphy RBI triple and an Ian Kinsler RBI single. Rejuvenated slugger Nelson Cruz then pushed the lead to 3-0 with a towering solo shot to left field in the fourth.

Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson has scattered five hits and fanned six batters over four scoreless innings, but his night will be ended prematurely if the rain sticks around for more than a couple of minutes. Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who has surrendered three earned runs in four innings of work, might also be finished.

UPDATE, 9:53pm: Joe Torre told the FOX broadcast that the delay will probably last between 25-30 minutes.

UPDATE, 10:02pm: The tarp has been rolled off. Game 1 of the ALCS should be back underway shortly.

UPDATE, 10:23pm: The game has resumed. Wilson will remain on the mound for the Rangers, but it looks like Verlander is coming out. Rick Porcello, scheduled to start Game 4, is warming in the visitors ‘pen.

UPDATE, 10:37pm: The tarp is being rolled back out, with the rain falling harder than ever. Wilson seemed to lose his command while waiting out the first delay and has now allowed two runs in the top of the fifth inning. The Tigers, down 3-2, have the bases loaded and will be looking to pour on more when play resumes.

UPDATE, 11:19pm: The tarp is coming off. Game 1 of the ALCS is expected to resume around 11:45 p.m. ET. Mike Gonzalez will replace Wilson and Porcello will take the mound for the Tigers.

UPDATE, 11:44pm: Play has finally resumed. Gonzalez will face Tigers catcher Alex Avila in the fifth.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.