ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington was impressed by the groundskeepers' ability to fix a broken pipe before Tuesday's game against the Indians.
Head groundskeeper Dennis Klein said it was not a sinkhole, but the broken pipe caused the ground to rise about a foot behind the mound before batting practice. Batting practice for both teams was cancelled as the groundskeepers replaced four feet of pipe that was five feet underground.
"Fortunately it was one area of the field that doesn't see a whole lot of action," Klein said.
The saturated area was about seven-by-seven feet. The grounds crew removed the turf in 18 pieces and set it on plywood. They repaired the pipe, filled the hole with sand and placed the grass back in the area before first pitch.
"I don't think there's anything that happens on a baseball field that those guys can't fix," Washington said. "It just depends on the timing, and the timing was good. If the timing would've happened close to game time, maybe it would've blown that game up."
It's the second consecutive homestand where the grounds crew has dealt with unusual issues. The Rangers-D-backs game on May 29 was postponed due to unplayable conditions. The grounds crew struggled to get the tarp on the field as they battled with high winds at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Klein and his crew successfully worked throughout the night to fix the infield for a day game against Arizona the next day.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.