- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The rain came to Yankee Stadium in droves. The fans? Not so much.

About 1,000 spectators were in the stands Tuesday night when the game between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees started at 11:08 p.m. after a rain delay of 4 hours, 3 minutes.

The crowd had dwindled to maybe 500 or so by the sixth inning when Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer for Baltimore that made it 2-all. Fans were allowed to move down to the expensive seats _ there was no announcement about that over the public-address system, instead they were told individually.

The Yankees also said that all tickets for this game could be redeemed for a free seat during the 2012 season.

Rain kept falling throughout the evening, even after play started. Puddles formed in the infield and the grounds crew worked on the field most every inning, dumping bag after bag of diamond dust in hopes of drying out the pitcher’s mound, batter’s box and basepaths.

During a 10-minute break in the fifth, the sound system played “Fixing a Hole” by the Beatles while the Yankees huddled under the dugout roof and Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke to the umpires.

Baltimore left fielder Matt Angle had the most glaring problem with the tough conditions. He got twisted around when Francisco Cervelli lifted a fly into the rain and swirling winds, dropped the ball for an error, slipped trying to recover and wound up with mud all over the front of his uniform.

The fans had a hard time keeping their feet, too. In the fifth, two men chased a foul ball behind the plate, lost their balance on a metal walkway and splashed to the ground with a thud. They got an ovation for their effort.

Several games in the majors were delayed by rain Tuesday. Major League Baseball and the Yankees talked throughout the delay on what was already shaping up as a difficult week for New York and the Orioles. The teams are scheduled to play again Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium, then meet in Baltimore on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. for the makeup of a previous rainout.

Chris Piteo of Springfield, Mass., was among the fans who waited out the delay.

“This is my one chance to see a game here this season,” he said. “It’s not like I can come any day to Yankee Stadium.”

With him were his sister, Marcy, and her two sons, ages 12 and 10. They were all aware that Wednesday was a school day back home.

“We’re already discussing the options,” she said with a smile.

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