CLEVELAND — As homecomings go, Eric Wedge’s return to Cleveland consisted of a walk-off defeat, a losing streak that reached six games and two rainouts.
Returning to Progressive Field for the first time since being fired as Indians’ manager after the 2009 season, Wedge’s brief visit didn’t turn out as he hoped.
“I’ve seen a little bit of everything,” he said Sunday after Seattle’s game with the Indians was postponed because of rain for the second straight day.
Wedge managed the Indians for seven seasons, beginning in 2003. He led Cleveland to 97 wins and the AL Central title in 2007 when Cleveland came within one game of reaching the World Series. Wedge was fired after the 2009 season and was hired to manage Seattle following last season.
The Mariners, who are 16-23 and in last place in the AL West, open a two-game series against Minnesota on Monday night at Safeco Field.
Seattle lost all four games of a road trip that began Tuesday in Baltimore with a 7-6 defeat in 13 innings. After a 4-2 loss on Wednesday, the Mariners fell 2-1 in 12 innings on Thursday. The trip reached another low Friday night when Cleveland’s Travis Hafner hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, sending the Mariners to a 5-4 loss.
“These guys are fighting,” Wedge said. “We’re in every ballgame, they’re fighting and working to get better. They’re pulling for each other. As we continue to get better and find ways to win, the results will be different.”
Unlike Saturday’s game, which was halted in the bottom of the first inning, Sunday’s contest never began. The original 1:05 p.m. start time was delayed while the grounds crew prepared the field, which had been hit by heavy rains since Saturday morning.
The postponement was announced at 3:15 p.m. No makeup dates have been decided. The Mariners return to Cleveland for a three-game series Aug. 22-24. Both teams are off Aug. 25 and Sept. 19.
Although steady rain was still falling, the umpires and grounds crew hoped to start the game at 1:50 p.m. Josh Tomlin, Cleveland’s scheduled starter, was on the mound throwing his warmup pitches and the Indians’ position players had taken the field when the rain picked up again, along with a swirling wind.
Wedge and Indians manager Manny Acta spoke with the umpires before crew chief John Hirschbeck called for the tarp to be put back on the field.
“We were going to play the game and, obviously, when the umpires got out there and saw the conditions I think they made a wise choice,” Wedge said. “They said that we can’t get started in this, so that’s what happened.”
The weather problems brought back memories of the four-game series in Cleveland between the teams that was snowed out to begin the 2007 season. The Mariners had to return to Cleveland three different times for makeup games while the final game was played in Seattle in September with the Indians as the home team.
Wedge, the Indians’ manager at the time, has a firm grasp on the conditions in Cleveland.
“It’s tough here with the weather,” he said. “It’s always been tough.”
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