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Yankees-Indians washed out in Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- If there was ever an opportune time for a steady rain to pound Progressive Field, giving the Indians an unexpected night off, this might have been it.

Following a pair of tough losses to the Yankees, Cleveland had its game against New York on Wednesday postponed due to rainy weather. While no makeup date has been announced, the players inside the Tribe's clubhouse seemed fine with playing the game at any other time.

The rainout gave a struggling Indians team time to gather itself after a rough start.

"It'll give us a chance to step back and regroup and refocus," Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said. "I don't think anyone was too worried. I'm not going to sit here and use the phrase, 'It's early,' but we started off playing good teams in Tampa and Toronto, away, and we went 3-3. I think anyone would take a split like that.

"New York has come in and they've swung the bats really well. They've jumped on our starters each time. We've been playing catch-up each time and, whether that's throwing people off or not, we haven't been doing it with the bats. So I think a day away might actually help."

The Indians (3-5) have dropped five of their past six games, including the first two of this planned four-game series with the Yankees. In the five defeats, Cleveland has allowed 45 combined runs. The Tribe has been outscored, 25-7, through two games in the current set with New York.

One of the primary issues had been Cleveland's starting rotation, which had a 5.86 ERA (13th in the American League) heading into Wednesday's action. Due to an assortment of issues, Wednesday's planned starter, Corey Kluber, would have been the seventh starting pitcher used through the team's first nine games.

Kluber was promoted from Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday and starter Carlos Carrasco was optioned to the same affiliate after a forgettable season debut (seven runs allowed in 3 2/3 innings, plus an ejection for hitting Kevin Youkilis with a pitch). Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brett Myers, Zach McAllister and Trevor Bauer have also made starts for the Tribe in this young season.

Needless to say, the Indians' pitching staff could also benefit from the one-day break.

"Any time that you've scuffled a couple games in a row," Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said, "hey, this can be a nice little pick-me-up for the staff as a whole. It's maybe a day to relax a little bit and come out the next day and get 'em."

Cleveland and New York will announce a makeup date for the postponed contest in the near future. Fans who were going to attend Wednesday's game will need to hold on to their tickets. The game, which was originally scheduled to start at 7:09 p.m. ET (on ESPN2), was officially postponed at 7:55 p.m.

McAllister will start for the Tribe as originally planned on Thursday, and will be opposed by Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes. Kluber will move to the bullpen temporarily for the Indians, who will also have their first scheduled off-day of the season on Monday.

Even in light of the rotation shuffling, and the staff's struggles, Callaway was not stressing too much over the early results.

"I don't think it's been stressful," Callaway said. "It's still early. I mean, that's the approach we're taking. It's early. There's no reason to panic. We're going to end up pitching well in the end, and that's what it's all about, not just one set of eight games. You're going to have a stretch during the middle of the season like that."

Still, maybe the day off can help.

"It's not the worst thing in the world right now," Kipnis said.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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