Spring training came to a repulsive end Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
The exhibition finale between the Angels and Dodgers was cut short because of a foul-smelling leak that spilled sewage onto the field in the fifth inning.
The game was called after a 32-minute delay with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over their Los Angeles rivals. The water main leak left a brown mess pooling near the Dodgers’ dugout in foul territory as the grounds crew spread a drying agent and worked to clean up.
“I’m not going to tell you what it really was,” Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles said. “That’s messed up. It’s nasty.”
There was definitely an undeniable stench, according to players.
“I thought it was Gatorade or something coming from the stands. I don’t know. They said it was the sewer,” Toles said. “I smelled it. It was nasty, man.”
After about 10 minutes of waiting on the field, both teams returned to their respective dugouts. Umpire crew chief Gerry Davis announced the delay as officials tried to determine if it was a stadium or city issue.
“Apparently, there was a pipe backup on two different levels of the stadium,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said after the game. “We don’t know exactly where the backup was, or what caused it. It had something to do with a main pipe here, as well as main pipe outside the stadium.”
Kasten was unsure if the Dodgers would refund fans, but said officials would discuss the situation on Wednesday.
Because the losing team had at least five chances to bat, the final score and statistics will count as an official game in spring training records. Matt Kemp homered in the fourth to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead.
“You can always say you’ve seen everything, but we haven’t seen something like that,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s unfortunate. We’re all winding down spring training. You want to finish strong. When you had a lake forming around the third base area that wasn’t going to stop, it’s just unfortunate.”
The leak might have reached the coaches’ offices, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wouldn’t confirm or deny that.
“I’ll get back to you guys tomorrow,” he said. “We’ll figure it out.”
Both teams open the regular season Thursday, with the Dodgers hosting the rival San Francisco Giants and the Angels playing in Oakland — where leaking sewage at the old Coliseum has been a problem several times in recent years.