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Minute Maid Park roof to be closed for Game 3

KANSAS CITY -- Minute Maid Park's roof will be closed when the Astros take the field today for their first home postseason game since 2005.

Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan, who reached out to Major League Baseball this week about the roof policy, confirmed Friday that the roof will be closed for Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Royals, scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET today on MLB Network. It's also expected to be closed for Game 4 on Monday. The league makes decisions about the roof in the postseason.

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The Astros close the roof for regular-season day games when the heat index is at least 84 degrees and night games when it's over 90. The expected high today in Houston is 92. :: ALDS: Astros vs. Royals -- Tune-in info ::

"Major League Baseball informed us they were going to move forward with our plan with the regular-season roof protocol for this weekend," Ryan said from Kauffman Stadium before the Astros lost Game 2, 5-4, to the Royals. "I know our fans want it closed because they don't like sweating.

"Our guys are saying it's going to be over 90 degrees all weekend, and what they would like to do is close the stadium for workouts Saturday, cool the building down. It's going be a packed house."

Temperatures are projected in the low 90s today and expected to rise Monday, with forecasts predicting temperatures as high as 95.

"There's a nine involved? It's pretty hot in Texas," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said, smiling. "I've learned that in my first summer in Houston. I don't want it to be uncomfortable for our players, for our pitchers.

"There are some tweener games where it's really hot. So it's more of a temperature thing. I think it's going to be loud anyway. Our ballpark, fully enclosed, can get really loud, and that's without it being full all the time. When it's 40,000, 50,000 people, bring your earplugs."

MLB had the Astros open the roof for Games 3 and 4 of the 2005 World Series even though the club wanted it closed. Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, who was on that team, spoke Friday about the amplified atmosphere upon the roof's closure.

"They're going to find out, they're going to know it," Biggio said. "It's going to be something they never experienced before, that's for sure. It's going to be a lot of fun.

"You can explain it to them, but it will be the loudest thing they've ever heard in their life. People in Houston are fired up and excited. But they know it. Until you see it and go through it, you don't understand it. The hardest part is trying to control your emotions a little bit and your energy to play into your game and not the crowd's level."

Jane Lee is a reporter for
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