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Outfield lights go down in Oakland, causing delay

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OAKLAND -- A dark bank of lights in left field at the Coliseum led to a 38-minute delay during the middle matchup of a three-game set between the A's and Yankees on Saturday.

The Yankees, trailing, 2-1, in an eventual 5-1 A's win, had already taken the field for the fourth inning when A's manager Bob Melvin was seen in discussion with the umpire crew. Soon, they were joined by Dave Rinetti, A's vice president of stadium operations, with all eyes on the light fixture.

"We were just trying to figure out where we try to go from here, whether or not we just play without the lights turning back on, how long was the delay, when was it going to get dark," said Melvin.

"I said something in the second inning. Not to the umpires, I was saying stuff to our guys," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "Saying, 'Are those lights always off?' And then nothing really happened until Bob Melvin came out. It's unfortunate, but it happens from time to time.

"They were never on, which makes me question why someone didn't notice who is here every day."

Turns out there was a circuit-breaker outage. The breaker had to be manually reset in the left-field light tower of a ballpark that's made headlines many times in recent years.

The Coliseum has experienced multiple sewage issues and, in April, the field was deemed unplayable for a game with the Mariners after the tarp had been left off the field during rainstorms the night before.

On Saturday, nearly 35 minutes after an official delay was announced, while starters Scott Kazmir and Hiroki Kuroda stayed loose, the lights began flickering again and, soon enough, were deemed bright enough for play to resume.

Kazmir and Kuroda both stayed in the game. Kazmir was seemingly unaffected, going on to complete six innings with just one unearned run allowed. Kuroda lasted only 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs -- including two after the delay.

"I don't think it really helps a guy to have a 40-minute delay," said Girardi. "At one point, actually right before the lights came on, [second-base umpire] Dan Iassogna was walking over to call [Major League Baseball], because he was told that they wouldn't come on. And all of a sudden they came on, so it's hard to figure."

Said A's second baseman Eric Sogard: "That's the Coliseum for you. That's kind of what we expect, but it's why we love this place. You never know what you're going to get."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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