Normally, the retractable roof at Marlins Park is supposed to close before storms arrive and soak the field.
That didn’t happen Wednesday. A surprise storm cell in Little Havana around 3:30 p.m. caught officials a little off guard, leaving puddles throughout the stadium — including more than a foot of water in the photographer and TV camera well adjacent to the Marlins dugout near third base.
Luckily, the protective tarp was already on the infield when the rain arrived. But batting practice was wiped out for both teams. The game, however, started on time at 7:10 p.m.
“As soon as we saw it was above us, we made the decision to cover the infield and then activate the roof,” said Claude Delorme, the Marlins executive vice president of operations.
“With this weather, and we saw it at [the team’s previous home] Sun Life Stadium, you do get surprises. The cells — one minute there’s nothing — and then all of a sudden it turns on you. I’m glad it happened now. The worst thing is if the roof was open and it happened a half-an-hour before the game. Three hours before the game we can deal with.”
After drying the field, the camera well and parts of the dugout where standing water remained, stadium workers turned their attention to wiping down the 37,000 seats inside the park. They were still doing that and using squeegees to remove water in between seating rows as fans entered the stadium around 5 p.m.
Delorme said it’s the first time stadium officials reacted late to a passing shower on a game day since the park opened back in March. Delorme said the Marlins receive a phone call from a meteorologist off-site when rough weather or surprise cells are in the area. At that point, it takes about 10 minutes to go through the safety measures before the roof can be closed, he said. The roof then closes in about 13 minutes.
A night after his older brother Jhonatan made his major-league debut for the Nationals, Marlins utility infielder Donovan Solano was still smiling Wednesday about how the Colombian-born siblings have made their dreams come true by reaching the big leagues within a week of each other.
Donovan, 24, said he stood up on the top step of the Marlins dugout Tuesday and nervously watched as Jhonatan, 26, faced closer Heath Bell with two outs in the ninth.
“I saw the whole stadium get up and clap for the strikeout and I thought he’s got to be nervous. But he got a good hit,” Donovan said of his brother, who doubled to right field. “He told me he just didn’t want to be the last out. I was proud of him.”
The Solanos are the first set of brothers to make their major-league debuts in the same month since Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero for Montreal in August 1996. They’re also the first set of brothers to record their first hits in the same month since Pete and Steve Stanicek in September 1987.
• Center fielder Bryan Petersen, who collided with the outfield wall while tracking down Bryce Harper’s triple in the sixth inning Tuesday, said that it was his ribs and not his shoulder that was “a little sore.” Petersen said the ball got lodged between his ribs and the wall.
• Thursday: No game.
• Friday: Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle (5-4, 3.26 ERA) at Philadelphia Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick (1-4, 4.10).
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (5-3, 4.26) at Phillies LHP Cole Hamels (8-1, 2.43).
• Scouting report: The Marlins head back to Philadelphia, where they dropped two of three in April. Buehrle was 4-0 with a 3.19 ERA in May.