- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CHICAGO (AP) — A day full of rain and cold. A sloppy infield full of mud and puddles. No conditions for a baseball game.

But after a long delay before the first pitch, the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox played for 11 innings yesterday — without a winner.

With the score tied 3-3, play was suspended when conditions worsened and the infield became unplayable. The game will resume at the beginning of the 12th inning later this season, but no date was set. All the statistics from yesterday count.

“It was tough. It was hard. The infield was pretty brutal,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “For the safety of the players, [the umpires] made that decision.”

Juan Uribe hit a tying homer in the 11th off Baltimore closer George Sherrill, his first blown save in 10 chances this year. After an error by Orioles shortstop Brandon Fahey in the sloppy conditions, Sherrill got out of a jam with runners at first and second.

As the inning ended, umpires called for the tarp, and moments later came an announcement that the game was suspended.

“The field was really messed up. It was pretty tough, but the grounds crew did a really nice job,” said Ramon Hernandez, who gave the Orioles a 3-2 lead in the 11th with a homer off Scott Linebrink.

“I don’t think the game should have been started. It was really cold and rainy. The field was wet. You never could warm up. After 11 innings, why are you stopping the game now?” he said.

“Just let us finish like that. It doesn’t matter now. The field was that bad since the seventh inning. It was raining the whole game. That’s when you should have stopped it, from the beginning.”

The start was delayed 2 hours, 6 minutes by rain, and the gametime temperature was only 38 degrees with wind blowing at 12 mph. Rain fell intermittently throughout the game and picked up in the late innings. Two of the base umpires wore ski masks to protect their ears and faces from the cold.

The teams were rained out Friday night, forcing a doubleheader Saturday. Last week the White Sox also had two rain delays in a game against the Yankees.

“It wasn’t unplayable for probably six or seven innings, and then it got bad,” Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts said. “Towards the end it was a tie game so you have to keep playing. It’s just frustrating to play that long and end like that.”

Neither closer could finish it. Baltimore tied the game in the ninth off Chicago’s Bobby Jenks on Melvin Mora’s RBI single following a leadoff double and stolen base by Roberts.

“When I came in, the whole infield was wet. There was water standing out there,” Sherrill said. “The guy rolls one to short … you’re picking up a ball that just got out of a dog’s mouth and trying to throw it over to first.”

Chicago had a big chance to win in the 10th. Carlos Quentin, who continued his strong early season play, hit a leadoff double.

But after he moved to third on Joe Crede’s fly ball, Brian Anderson foul tipped a bunt attempt on a squeeze play, and Quentin was tagged out. Anderson then struck out to end the inning.

Chicago starter Javier Vazquez allowed four hits, including Aubrey Huff ‘s solo homer in the second, walked one and struck out seven in eight innings.

“Playing 11 innings under the rain and all of a sudden then they stop it, but the field was in terrible condition,” Vazquez said.

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