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Yankees-Orioles rained out; doubleheader scheduled for Saturday

A tarp covers the infield as rain falls

A tarp covers the infield as rain falls before a baseball game between the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore on Sept. 12, 2013. Credit: AP

BALTIMORE - The Yankees received at least one more day to recover from Thursday night's celebration.

Heavy rain, which greeted the club when it arrived from New York in the early-morning hours, caused the postponement of Friday night's game against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

The game will be made up as part of a split-admission doubleheader Saturday, with the first game scheduled to start at 12:05 p.m. and the second at 7:05 p.m.

"Probably there's a few boys who could use today off anyway," Girardi said with a smile.

Ivan Nova is scheduled to start Game 1 and Luis Severino, who had been scheduled to pitch Friday night, will start Game 2.

An Astros loss to Arizona Friday night would have assured the Yankees -- who clinched a wild-card berth Thursday night -- of home-field advantage for Tuesday night's wild-card game and made their remaining games meaningless. "That would be the best-case scenario, yes," Girardi said. The Astros would have none of that, though, as their 21-5 victory behind Dallas Keuchel (20-8) kept them alive for the first wild card. One Yankees win in their final three games or one Astros loss in their final two will give the Yankees the home game.

Girardi already has the weekend mostly planned out. His intention is to get relievers Justin Wilson and Andrew Miller some work but not use Dellin Betances much, if at all. "Dellin I would use very sparingly," he said.

Chasen Shreve spent much of the season as one of Girardi's most trusted relievers, but the last month was a nightmare for the lefthander. He has allowed 13 hits -- including four homers -- five walks and seven runs in 42/3 innings in his last eight games, and hitters had a .520/.600/1.000 slash line against him.

Girardi hopes to use the weekend to rebuild his confidence in time for the postseason, when a manager never can have too many arms -- especially lefthanded ones -- at his disposal.

"We're going to use the next couple of days to try to get him back on track," he said. "Obviously, I wouldn't use him in two games [Saturday], but it is possible we could use him Saturday and Sunday and see if we can get that mojo back. He's been through a tough month, a really tough month. And it's a kid that's really, this is his first full season up here, and there are ups and downs and we want to try to get him through it."

Girardi and his staff will spend much of the weekend trying to figure out whom to put on the 25-man roster for the wild-card game. Girardi again indicated that Masahiro Tanaka is all but certain to start that game and said he'll take "more than one" starter for the bullpen for a just-in-case scenario. Severino and a suddenly rejuvenated CC Sabathia are likely picks.

Girardi said pinch-running specialist Rico Noel is a strong candidate to be put on the wild-card roster and beyond, if the Yankees win. "When you need a stolen base, he can go get it," he said. "Those guys can become very important in a playoff series, so he's definitely on our radar."

As for the opponent -- which looks as if it will be the Astros, Twins or Angels but still could be the Rangers -- Girardi said "they all present their challenges."

The Astros, Angels and Twins still could finish in a two- or three-way tie for the second wild card, and the Astros still could tie the Rangers for the AL West title. Girardi sounded as if he wouldn't mind if it took an extra day, meaning a playoff game on Monday, for things to shake out.

"The fact they're playing a bunch of days in a row and maybe they're using people they don't want to and maybe they got to use relievers for possibly the third day in a row," he said. "They have to travel. It's just a lot of things that could be advantageous."

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