CLEVELAND (AP) -- Indians hitting coach Derek Shelton didn't mind getting a break when Cleveland's scheduled game against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night was postponed by rain.
No makeup date was announced and both managers said they would use Friday's scheduled starters on Saturday. Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar (1-1) will oppose Cleveland left-hander C.C. Sabathia -- weather permitting, of course. More rain is in the forecast."We'll just push everybody back one day," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "It is early in the season and I don't think it's a problem."Cleveland hitters showed signs Thursday of breaking out of a funk that had dropped the team average to .248, 12th in the AL, but the Indians didn't sound like they are concerned about the postponment hurting their offensive rhythm."A one-day break is good, kind of welcome," Shelton said after the game was called before it even started. "It's when it hangs around and you don't play for several days where it gets to be a problem. Guys lose their timing."You can hit in the cages underneath, but it isn't the same as being outdoors and it's not like hitting in game situations."In a 3-2 win over Seattle in 11 innings on Thursday, three Indians snapped long slumps: Ryan Garko broke an 0-for-25 streak with two singles; Travis Hafner stopped an 0-for-13 slide with two doubles; and Asdrubal Cabrera delivered the game-winning single after being hitless in 14 previous at-bats."We're programmed to play, so I'm always ready," Hafner said. "I got a lot of swings in anyway tonight in the batting cages. I'd rather play, but I don't think about rain one way or the other."A few hours before a downpour hit Progressive Field, Indians manager Eric Wedge again altered his lineup, moving Franklin Gutierrez into the No. 2 spot and dropping Casey Blake from second to eighth."We'll shuffle things and keep doing whatever we can to get this thing going," Wedge said. "What I see behind the scenes shows me we are coming along. We'll get there."
Royals LHP John Bale (tightness in shoulder) threw indoors. Hillman said Bale, who went 0-3 with a 7.63 ERA in three starts before being placed on the DL on April 16, will probably be used as a reliever when he returns. ... Sabathia's only win was in Kansas City on April 22, when he allowed four hits and struck out 11 in six innings in a 15-1 triumph. He is 14-8 with a 3.27 ERA in 29 career starts against Kansas City. ... Hochevar, the first pick in the 2006 draft, got his first career win last Saturday over Toronto, 2-1, giving up one run and six hits over six innings. ... RHP Gil Meche (1-4) of the Royals is scheduled to face Cleveland's LHP Aaron Laffey (0-1) on Sunday.