Giants vs. Cards delayed as lights go out at Busch Stadium

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A bank of lights suddenly shut off at 10:59 p.m. central time this evening on the roof of Busch Stadium, right along the first base line. The Cardinals are playing host to the Giants in Game 3 of a four-game set. It’s being televised by ESPN.

The contest is currently in a delay while maintenance attempts to get the lights, which shine on the area around home plate, back up and running.

Giants closer Brian Wilson is trying to close out a San Francisco victory. It’s the bottom of the 11th inning and the Cardinals are down to their last out with a 7-5 deficit. But they do have a runner on first base and have managed two hits against Wilson, who has now been idle for several minutes.

Cardinals utilityman Allen Craig is at the plate. He hit a two-run homer earlier in the game.

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UPDATE: The lights came back on at 11:13 p.m. CT, after a 14-minute delay. Wilson headed to the mound and forced a first-pitch groundout from Craig as the Giants won in extras. That’s sure to make the conspiracy theories less fun. La Russa pulled the plug, trying to throw off Wilson’s rhythm! … And all that.

Athletics tie for first place in AL West

Athletics
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The Athletics are tied for first place in the AL West for the first time since Opening Day. They took the first of a three-game series against the Astros on Friday with a wild (and controversial) overturned replay call in the ninth and Matt Olson‘s decisive walk-off home run in the 10th — the first of his career to date — then returned on Saturday and bested the Astros 7-1 to take first place.

Saturday’s win was less of a nail-biter than Friday’s had been, but its rewards were just as sweet. Trevor Cahill led the A’s through the first seven innings of one-hit, seven-strikeout ball, backed by seven runs on five RBI doubles from Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Stephen Piscotty and Josh Phegley. All told, the four players struck eight doubles to tie the franchise single-game record.

The Astros, meanwhile, were stymied by both Cahill and the A’s bullpen through the first eight innings of the game. Following Cahill’s seven shutout innings, Jeurys Familia took the ball in the eighth and blanked the Astros to preserve the seven-run lead. Yusmeiro Petit wasn’t quite so lucky: with one out in the top of the ninth, he pitched to a full count against Tony Kemp, then saw his 90.1-MPH fastball returned to right field for a home run. That was the first and last time the Astros crossed home plate, however, as Kyle Tucker popped out to third base and Alex Bregman cemented the loss with a fly ball to right.

Entering Saturday’s game, the Astros had not been out of first place since June 13, when they played second fiddle to the now third-place Mariners. They’ll share first-place honors with the Athletics until Sunday’s finale; it’ll take a series sweep for Oakland to take the lead in the division, but they’ve already delivered incredible results over the last two weeks (and it’s worth noting, as MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart pointed out, that Houston has now lost seven of their last eight games). The A’s climbed out of the no. 3 spot at the start of August and have steadily progressed toward first place ever since, driven by two separate four-win streaks and their two decisive wins this weekend. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle also notes that the club has not been in first place in a non-April month since August 25, 2014 — the last year they qualified for the playoffs.