CINCINNATI (AP) - As soon as he heard the game was called off, Astros left-hander J.A. Happ went into the outfield at Great American Ball Park to play catch and get in some running.
He considered working out in the rain a better deal than sitting around inside for hours.
A forecast of unrelenting rain prompted the Cincinnati Reds to postpone their game against Houston on Monday night more than three hours before the scheduled start. The first postponed game for both teams this season will be made up on Thursday afternoon, originally a day off.
Happ was glad he didn't have to sit around for hours to see if the game was going to be played.
``The one good thing would be that they did call it early,' Happ said. ``The anxiety can kind of quell down in that sense. It's tough to come in here and it's delayed and delayed and delayed and you're anxious to get out there.'
He figured he needed to do something to stay loose, so he got in a light workout.
``Just a little tossing and some sprint work, just kind of got the blood flowing,' he said. ``A lot of the same stuff I did yesterday.'
The Astros plan to keep their pitching plans intact, just pushing each starter back one day.
The postponement gave Astros left fielder Carlos Lee another day to recover from a ribcage injury. He hurt his left side when he ran into shortstop Angel Sanchez during the seventh inning of a 5-0 win over Milwaukee on Sunday, and was taken to a hospital for tests that found no fracture.
Lee was expected to rejoin the team on Monday evening.
``He's still stiff and sore, but we're glad to hear the CT scan was negative and also the X-rays were negative,' manager Brad Mills said. ``I think we'll check him out and see how he is and go from there.'
The rainout prompted the Reds to change their plans for later in the week. Right-hander Homer Bailey was scheduled to make one more rehab start in the minors on Thursday, when it was originally a day off. Instead, he will be reinstated and pitch against the Astros.
``What do they say, rain is a good thing?' Bailey said. ``I was happy to hear that. I felt ready, but there had to be one more start (in Dayton) because of the off day. I felt a little bummed out about it. I'm lucky things worked out.'
Cincinnati had the wettest April in its recorded history. May isn't starting much better.
Bailey and right-hander Johnny Cueto are coming back from shoulder problems that sidelined them during spring training. Bailey is further along, going 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA in three minor league starts. He gave up only 11 hits and one earned run in 16 2-3 innings, striking out 14.
``I'm definitely glad I can be back at this level of competition, more than anything,' Bailey said. ``I feel prepared. I went down and thought I threw well in all my rehab starts. Everything has progressed really well. I'm ready to step back in.'
Manager Dusty Baker plans to move Sam LeCure back into the bullpen when Bailey is activated. One of the relievers will get sent to the minors. The Reds figured Bailey might as well make his next start in Cincinnati instead of Dayton.
``He was scheduled to throw Thursday anyway, and he didn't necessarily want another rehab assignment,' Baker said. ``It's just better for our situation. He was patient. He worked very hard. Now, it's a go.'
There have been 18 postponements in the major leagues this season, according to STATS LLC, three short of last year's total.
NOTES: Jason Bourgeois was scheduled to start for Lee in left field on Monday. ... It was only the fourth time in nine seasons that a game was postponed at Great American. ... The Reds are 2-1 against the Astros this season and 24-10 over the last three seasons. They've won 12 of their last 18 against the Astros. ... Baker had planned to start Edgar Renteria at third base on Monday in place of Scott Rolen, who's on the DL. Instead, Baker had him at shortstop. ``I changed my mind,' Baker said. ``He's not really comfortable there yet.'
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