Rain forces postponement of Wednesday’s ALCS Game 4

The Houston Astros and New York Yankees will play Game 4 on Thursday night instead, with Game 5 on Friday at Yankee Stadium and Game 6 in Houston on Saturday, if necessary.

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Groundskeepers water the field at Yankee Stadium on Monday. Bad weather forced the postponement of Wednesday’s AL Championship Series Game 4 between the Yankees and Astros.

Kathy Willens/AP

NEW YORK — Game 4 of the AL Championship Series scheduled for Wednesday night has been postponed because of rain in the forecast.

The Houston Astros and New York Yankees will play Game 4 on Thursday night instead, with Game 5 on Friday at Yankee Stadium and Game 6 in Houston on Saturday if necessary. Houston beat New York 4-1 in the Bronx on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 series lead.

It’s expected that Houston will start Zack Greinke against the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka in a rematch of Game 1. Tanaka pitched six sterling innings as New York won the opener 7-0.

Both clubs had planned to use bullpen openers Wednesday, and the day off will be welcome for New York after manager Aaron Boone used five relievers to cover 4 2/3 innings Tuesday. Starter Luis Severino threw 36 pitches in the first inning and was pulled in the fifth. Boone deployed key arms Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton in the loss, although none threw more than 11 pitches.

Of course, now the teams might play the final four games without a day off, culminating in Game 7 on Sunday. With the Yankees leaning heavily on their bullpen this month, the starter-driven Astros could be at an advantage.

Greinke, a 2009 Cy Young Award winner acquired from Arizona at the July 31 trade deadline, has struggled through two starts this postseason. He allowed six runs and couldn’t finish the fourth inning against Tampa Bay in Game 3 of the AL Division Series, and the Yankees hammered two homers and scored three runs against him in six innings in the ALCS opener.

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