Ballpark sinkhole behind mound cancels BP in Texas

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ARLINGTON, TEXAS (AP) - There was a sinking feeling behind the pitcher’s mound at Rangers Ballpark.

A busted pipe under the infield at Rangers Ballpark created a sinkhole right behind the mound. On-field batting practice Tuesday for both the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians was canceled so the grounds crew could fix the problem.

Workers had to dig more than 3 feet deep to try to fix the pipe under the field that is used to water the infield. One of the workers could only been seen from the waist up after getting down into the hole.

About an hour before the game was scheduled to start, the repair was complete and the grass behind the mound had been put back in place. Workers even used a hose hooked to the repaired pipe to water the infield grass and dirt.

While the Indians entered the game with an eight-game losing streak, and 12 losses in a row on the road, Cleveland manager Terry Francona said there were no Bull Durham-like shenanigans by his team trying to get a day off.

“I didn’t do it,” Francona said with a chuckle about the reference to a scene in the Kevin Costner baseball movie. “We’re not there yet. We’re frustrated, but we’re not there.”

About three hours before the game, as usual before a home game, Rangers players went on the field for stretching and batting practice. But after stretching in the outfield as normal, they went back inside to take their pregame swings in an indoor cage.

Two weeks ago, a game between Arizona and Texas at Rangers Ballpark was postponed because of unplayable field conditions.

The infield that night was soaked during a severe thunderstorm about an hour before that scheduled start while the grounds crew struggled to get the tarp on the field.

Though the rain stopped shortly after that and more than an hour of work was put into preparing the field, that game was postponed after officials from both teams determined the dirt basepaths were too soft to play the game safely.

Arizona and Texas played the next afternoon, after the grounds crew worked into the wee hours of the night.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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