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Giants Win Protest After Tarp Snafu

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A Cubs grounds crew member pushes water off the infield after a tarp malfunction caused the infield to get soaked in Tuesday's game against the Giants. After a protest by San Francisco, the game will be resumed in the fifth inning Thursday afternoon. (Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

A Cubs grounds crew member pushes water off the infield after a tarp malfunction caused the infield to get soaked in Tuesday’s game against the Giants. After a protest by San Francisco, the game will be resumed in the fifth inning Thursday afternoon. (Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

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(CBS) The Giants have won their protest to continue what was originally a rain-shortened 2-0 loss against the Cubs on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, a contest marred by the home team ground crew’s inability to properly apply the tarp during a 15-minute rainstorm that left the field unplayable even after four-plus hours of work on it.

The game will be continued Thursday at 4:05 p.m. prior to that evening’s regularly scheduled contest. It will pick up in the bottom of the fifth with Chicago leading 2-0.

Major League Baseball explained that the malfunction was manual in that the tarp wasn’t spooled properly after its last use, the Tribune’s Mark Gonzales reported.

Earlier Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported the Giants were referencing Rule 4.12 (a)(3) that governs suspended games. That rule states a game can be suspended if there’s a “malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club.”

Or, perhaps, Major League Baseball just went the common sense route. The consensus was the Giants were wronged as they battle for a playoff spot.

The Cubs said they had an adequate number of grounds crew members on duty but declined to divulge the total.

The Giants became the first team to win a protest in the last 28 years in the majors, the Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer reported.

After starting Tuesday evening, the contest was called at 1:16 a.m. Wednesday after a 4-hour, 34-minute delay that followed the short, fierce rainstorm. The long delay was caused because the Cubs’ ground crew failed to unfurl the tarp and get it to cover the entire infield. The unexpected rainstorm took the umpires by surprise, and the rain accumulating on the tarp made it more difficult to manage.

While dozens of bags of Diamond Dry were used in an effort to make the field playable, it was still too much of a mess.

As it was decided early Wednesday morning, there was no provision in the MLB rulebook that would allow for a suspended game. It could be called because the trailing team had batted five times.

As for Thursday’s resumption of play, tickets for Tuesday’s game will get fans the same seat for the 4:05 p.m. game. Other ticket holders in Tuesday’s game who can’t make it Thursday can turn in their ticket stub for tickets to a future weekday contest in a comparable seat location.

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