ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have postponed Tuesday night’s game against the Indians due to the projected path of Tropical Storm Elsa and have scheduled a doubleheader for Wednesday afternoon.
The pair of seven-inning games will start at 12:10 p.m. — the original time of the single Wednesday game — with gates opening at 10:40 a.m. The second game will start about 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1.
The Rays announced the decision late Monday afternoon, concerned about fans, players and staff given the unpredictability of the storm’s arrival, duration and impact.
“You just hope that everybody in this area stays safe,’' manager Kevin Cash said. “And it doesn’t hit any area too hard.’'
With the storm passing over Cuba on Monday, Cash said the families of two Rays from the island, Randy Arozarena and Yandy Diaz, were safe. “I think it completely missed Randy’s area,’' Cash said. “Yandy spoke with his mom and everything was okay. A little scary, but everything’s okay.’'
The Rays are expected to move scheduled Tuesday starter Michael Wacha to Wednesday and activate lefty Josh Fleming off the injured list to start the other game. The Indians are planning to keep their rotation in order, starting J.C. Mejia in the opener and lefty Sam Hentges in the second game. The teams can add a 27th player for both games.
This will be the fourth doubleheader in Tropicana Field history. The Rays played one in 2004 against the Tigers due to Hurricane Frances, another in 2017 against the A’s as a scheduling novelty, and a third in 2020 against the Yankees due to coronavirus-related rescheduling.
Tickets for Wednesday’s single game will be honored. Fans who bought tickets from the Rays or the MLB App for Tuesday’s game will receive a credit that can be used for the Wednesday game or any other 2021 regular-season game.
The Austin Meadows bobblehead giveaway planned for Tuesday has been shifted to July 20.
• • •
Sign up for the Rays Report weekly newsletter to get fresh perspectives on the Tampa Bay Rays and the rest of the majors from sports columnist John Romano.