The Arizona Diamondbacks will avoid having to play a doubleheader in Texas.
Except now they will have to make an extra trip later in the season to play a makeup game against the Rangers.
Arizona's game at Texas on Wednesday night was postponed due to unplayable field conditions caused by a severe thunderstorm just more than an hour before the game was scheduled to start.
During the storm that included lightning, gusty winds and heavy rains, the infield was soaked while the grounds crew struggled to get the tarp on the field.
"We walked around, I was standing out there ... the field took a ton of water," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "They wanted to play a game today, we didn't want to play a doubleheader (Thursday), but it was just dangerous. It was really muddy on the baselines."
Though the rain stopped and the grounds crew had been working on the field, Rangers officials announced the postponement just about an hour after the scheduled start.
That decision was made after Gibson joined several Rangers officials, including CEO Nolan Ryan, general manager Jon Daniels and manager Ron Washington, to survey the field.
"Third base and the third-base line was just entirely too soft," Washington said. "Out of the box down the first-base line, halfway where the umpire's box is, it's soft too. When I saw (the rain) I was watching them go under the tarp bringing the stuff that was on the field out. I didn't see the rain or the wind blow."
Arizona and Texas will play a single game as scheduled Thursday, in what was to be the end of the Diamondbacks' last scheduled trip to Rangers Ballpark. The Diamondbacks are scheduled to play Friday afternoon at the Chicago Cubs.
The game postponed Wednesday will be made up at a later date, likely Aug. 15, a mutual off day for both teams.
That is a scheduled day off for the Diamondbacks after an eight-game homestand and before a game in Pittsburgh. That is in the middle of what is already eight home games in a row for Texas.
Rangers spokesman John Blake said there were no injuries reported during the storms, but that about 25 trees outside the stadium sustained damage or were toppled by the bad weather.
Arizona swept a planned doubleheader against Texas on Monday at home. The teams had Tuesday off before the scheduled two games at Rangers Ballpark.
Both scheduled starting right-handers for the postponed game are set to start Thursday. Brandon McCarthy (2-3) will pitch for the Diamondbacks against Justin Grimm (4-3).
"I thought we were going to go, it was just a matter of when," said McCarthy, who never started warming up for the game. "It was a wasted off day for nothing."
A few minutes after the postponement was announced, Grimm was out in front of the Rangers dugout throwing long toss to bullpen catcher Josh Frasier.
Gibson said part of the field was OK, but that groundkeeper Dennis Klein said he needed to " get spikes in it, open it up and let some air get in there and dry it out. `'
More than a dozen grounds crew members were working on the field after the game was called, concentrating their efforts on the third-base line.
During Arizona's batting practice before the game, an announcement was made that the area was under a severe thunderstorm warning. Fans were asked to leave the upper deck and all fans were told to seek shelter.
When the Diamondbacks left the field a few minutes later, some field crew members rolled the batting cage out of the way while others starting pulling the tarp.
While the crew tried to get the tarp in position, gusty winds caused the heavy covering to start flapping wildly and it wound up bunched together toward second base and in shallow center field. Heavy rain fell during the several minutes it took to get the tarp under control and cover the infield, with the grounds crew joined by security and other ballpark personnel.
Once the storm had passed, the crew prepared the infield dirt with drying dust and worked furiously to try to prepare the field for play. As planned, the tarp was then pulled back over the field -- with no issues this time -- with another storm in the area, though there was no more significant rain.
Copyright Associated Press