Rain forces Rangers into Sunday doubleheader

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers will have to wait at least another day to try to wrap up a playoff spot.

Persistent rain in the Metroplex forced the postponement of Saturday’s scheduled game with the Los Angeles Angels, setting up the first split doubleheader in Rangers Ballpark history Sunday. Saturday’s game was postponed after a 3 hour, 55 minute delay.

Texas, whose magic numbers are three to clinch the American League West and one to clinch a playoff spot, will start Yu Darvish in the 12:05 p.m. opener and Derek Holland in the 6:05 p.m. nightcap. The Angels will counter with Zack Greinke in Game 1 and Ervin Santana in Game 2. Both games will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.

The Rangers could clinch the West with a sweep Sunday and a loss by Oakland to Seattle.

Texas manager Ron Washington doesn’t like playing doubleheaders but Saturday’s rain made it unavoidable.

“I don’t like them,” Washington said. “You’ve got to play it so you go play it. That’s it. It’s something that has to be done so you do it.”

The split doubleheader will be the first at Rangers Ballpark and the second played by the Rangers this year. They split a split doubleheader with Detroit on April 21.

Washington said he would go with his regular starters in both games because of the importance of the series. Geovany Soto will catch Darvish in the first game and Mike Napoli will receive Holland.

Holland was slated to start Saturday but was pushed back to the second game.

“It’s just Darvish’s day tomorrow so I wanted to get him out there as soon as we can,” Washington said of Sunday. “Holland can pick him up after that.”

Darvish missed his last turn in the rotation because of a stiff neck. He threw a bullpen Friday and had no issues.

During Saturday’s game, Oakland’s dramatic 5-4 victory over Seattle was shown on the video board at Rangers Ballpark for the fans in the stands. Oakland trailed 4-0 before rallying, killing Texas’ chance to trim a game off their magic number.

Washington said he wasn’t watching that game in his office. He instead watched the rain that never stopped.

“I’ve never seen weather like this in Texas,” Washington said. “It’s been here all day. It doesn’t look like it’s going to let up.”

Tickets for Saturday’s postponed game will be good for Sunday’s 6:05 game. Tickets purchased for Sunday’s originally scheduled game are good for the 12:05 game.