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World Series hit by bad weather
Rain leaves contest in the balance as Phillies and Rays tied 2-2 in sixth inning.
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2008 10:17 GMT

Carlos Pena of the Tampa Bay Rays battles the conditions [GALLO/GETTY]
The fate of the World Series was left hanging in the balance on Monday when heavy rain forced a suspension of Game Five with the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Philadelphia leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 but mother nature has threatened to rain on the Phillies' parade with the unplayable conditions leaving the teams with little option other than to resume the contest on Tuesday.

Monday's suspension marked the first time a World Series game has been started but not had at least nine innings played and with steady rain forecast for the next couple of days, there was no telling when the Fall Classic would actually resume.

When it does restart, the game will pick up with the Phillies coming to bat in the bottom of the sixth.

The covers go on [GALLO/GETTY]
Bad weather

"It will be resumed when I believe that weather conditions are appropriate," Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said.

"It will definitely be a night game," he added.

"Whether it's Tuesday night or Wednesday night or Thursday night or whenever."

Umpires ordered the diamond covered after the top half of the sixth when Tampa Bay tied the game with a run on a soggy surface where rain had left large puddles on the infield.

Selig said the weather forecast predicted further heavy rain for the remainder of the night, forcing the rare ruling to suspend the game.

Reluctant officials

Light rain had been forecast for Monday but it gradually became stronger on a chilly night at Citizens Bank Park and a whipping wind made it even more difficult for the players, who were struggling to catch balls hit high in the air.

Officials were reluctant to halt the game with the Rays trailing but were quick to pull the teams off the field after Carlos Pena singled off Phillies starter Cole Hamels to drive in BJ Upton with the tying run.

A game called off after five innings with one team ahead is declared a win for that team, a result that could have given Philadelphia the Fall Classic crown had the game been halted earlier.

Carlos Pena hits a RBI single in the top of the sixth inning [GALLO/GETTY]
Game delayed

"This is not the way to end a World Series.

"I would not have allowed a World Series to end this way," Selig said.

Selig added that had Tampa Bay not tied the score, the game would have been delayed out of concern for players' safety and they would have waited as long as it took for the weather to clear for play to resume.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he did not feel panicked about having to score.

"I was kind of confident that the game would not end in a six-and-a-half inning game or whatever, that we would lose it," Maddon said.

"From what I was aware, the commissioner has leeway in regard to this situation and I was very confident that he would make the right decision."

Source:
Agencies
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