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Broken water pipe delays Royals-Indians tilt

August 24, 2018

KANSAS CITY -- It has been that kind of season for the Royals when Friday night's game was delayed 30 minutes when the right-field warning track suddenly flooded in the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. And there was nary a cloud in the sky.But at least there was a happy

KANSAS CITY -- It has been that kind of season for the Royals when Friday night's game was delayed 30 minutes when the right-field warning track suddenly flooded in the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. And there was nary a cloud in the sky.
But at least there was a happy ending when rookies Ryan O'Hearn and Hunter Dozier hit back-to-back homers for a 5-4 walk-off win to open Players' Weekend.
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With two out and a runner at second in the top of the fourth inning, the right-field warning track and Royals' bullpen suddenly started flooding.
Play was halted with the Royals leading, 3-2, as players on the field and in the 'pen stood stunned. The grounds crew immediately began frantically sweeping the water, which was pouring out from underneath the outfield wall at a strong rate, toward a drain just inside the bullpen gate.
"Yeah, I felt like I was back in the Minor Leagues or something," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Nobody knew what was going on. What are you going to do?"
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The Royals eventually announced the maintenance crew was searching for a water pipe break near the bullpen.
Finally, the leak stopped and the grounds crew was able to sweep the water off the track and put enough water-absorbing dirt to make the field playable again.
"It was a wild delay," Royals starter Brad Keller said. "I've never experienced that before. I just put some hot packs on my arm, and actually I felt better after the delay. I was just trying to stay as locked in as possible."
At one point, Royals manager Ned Yost went out to the bullpen area to confer with head groundskeeper Trevor Vance.
"I've never seen a broken pipe," Yost said. "I've seen sprinklers come on in the middle of a game, but not where pipes have broken and water is gushing on the field.
"That thing could have been a lot longer [delay] than it needed to be, but Trevor and his group got down there and handled it, and did a great job of getting the water out of there and getting it firmed back up so that we could play."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.