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.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.