- Associated Press - Saturday, October 8, 2011

ARLINGTON, TEXAS (AP) - Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers were again halted by rain.

The AL championship series opener went into a rain delay in the top of the fifth inning Saturday night with the Texas Rangers leading 3-0.

Verlander had thrown one inning and 25 pitches in the AL division series opener at the New York Yankees on Sept. 30 when that game was suspended. Under a rules change adopted two years ago, postseason games are suspended instead of being cut short or wiped out. Verlander came back and started Game 3, which he won, and threw 82 pitches against the Rangers before the delay.

After the fourth inning at Rangers Ballpark, the groundskeeper went out and spoke with plate umpire Tim Welke, certainly about the weather.

A few minutes later, after Ramon Santiago led off the fifth with a double and Brandon Inge batting with 1-0 count against C.J. Wilson, the intensity of the rain picked up. Welke then stopped the game and had the field covered.

Wilson already had six strikeouts and benefited from two inning-ending double plays. He had thrown 72 pitches.

Texas took a 2-0 lead in the second on an RBI triple by David Murphy before he scored on Ian Kinsler’s single.

Nelson Cruz homered leading off the fourth, ending an 0-for-10 postseason slump. It was his seventh postseason homer, a Rangers franchise record and one more than Juan Gonzalez.

Verlander had five strikeouts and two walks in the first four innings. Both walks came in the first, when he also struck out Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre to avoid giving up a run even after center fielder Austin Jackson’s error in center field when a flyball by Elvis Andrus hit off the heel of his glove.

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