The Indians, who are hanging by a thread in the postseason picture, will now face 15 games in the next 14 days and 18 games in the final 18 days of the regular season. Including the suspended game with Kansas City -- due to be made up prior to the teams' Sept. 22 tilt -- Cleveland technically has 19 games in 18 days.
"Either we do it or we don't. There's no hiding from it," said Indians center fielder Michael Bourn, referring to Cleveland reaching the playoffs for a second straight year. "We sure can't lose any series down the stretch. We've got some tough teams, but we're in this series right now."
The Indians dropped the opener of this three-game set, 4-2, on Tuesday night, marking the fifth defeat in the past nine games for the team. With Kansas City and Seattle losing on Tuesday as well, Cleveland headed into Wednesday's action facing a five-game deficit in both the American League Central and Wild Card standings.
Indians manager Terry Francona did not pay much attention to which other teams lost on Tuesday night.
"When we lose," Francona said, "I still haven't figured out a way to be able to watch baseball where I can handle it, because I want everybody in both leagues to lose, and I havent found a way for that to be possible."
For Thursday's twin bill, Indians right-hander Corey Kluber will take the ball in Game 1 opposite Twins righty Kyle Gibson. In the second game, Tribe lefty T.J. House will start against right-hander Ricky Nolasco.
Fans holding tickets for Wednesday's rainout who want to attend Thursday's twin bill must exchange their tickets at the stadium ticket office, beginning at 9 a.m. Fans with tickets for Wednesday who are unable to attend on Thursday can exchange their tickets by Sept. 24 for one of five eligible dates (Sept. 22-24, Sept. 26 or Sept. 28). Gates will open at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
With only 19 games to go, Francona said it is important for him and his coaches to maintain the same approach they have used all season long. Changing the message or routine now is not how the manager feels the team will have success.
"My opinion is that me and the coaches need to remain consistent," Francona said. "Everybody knows how much we want to win -- myself, them -- that's how we feel. But changing your colors, changing your stripes, doesn't help players play better. Being consistent, I think, helps. You just try to keep it small. One game. Thinking too far ahead doesn't help."