NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees manager Joe Girardi insisted the last out should have come well before midnight — let alone at 2:44 a.m., when the game finally ended.
The Texas Rangers wrapped up a weird win early Tuesday, rallying after a rain delay of more than 3 1/2 hours in the ninth inning to beat New York 9-6 with maybe 100 fans left in the stands.
"To me, the game should've been stopped earlier than that," Girardi said. "We played in horrible conditions, and I think you risk injuries to players. And we saw a bunch of their outfielders slip."
"It's hard for me to understand what happened tonight, how it got to this point. But it did and we lost," he added.
Yankee Stadium was so deserted that shouts from Texas players cheering in the dugout for Adrian Beltre's go-ahead, two-run single could easily be heard bouncing around the ballpark.
Texas trailed 6-5 when Kirby Yates replaced closer Aroldis Chapman after the delay with a runner on first and no outs. Yates (2-1) hit three batters, and Beltre and Elvis Andrus each hit a two-run single.
"Very frustrating, especially the fact I had two strikes on every single guy I hit. We're one pitch away from winning a baseball game," Yates said.
The Yankees put two runners on with one out in the ninth before their rally fizzled. By then, the cleaning crews had already started their work in the upper decks.
Rain-themed songs wafted over the sound system while showers fell during the break of 3 hours, 35 minutes. A half-dozen policemen without slickers or umbrellas got soaked while ringing the field, ensuring nobody tried to slide on the tarp — no one did.
It was nowhere near the longest rain delay at this stadium. Two months after it opened in 2009, the start of a game against Washington was delayed 5 1/2 hours.
There is no official record of the longest rain delay in major league history.
The start of a pennant-race game in 1999 between Cincinnati and the Brewers at Milwaukee was held up 5 hours, 47 minutes. In 2013, a Royals-Cardinals game in St. Louis was delayed 4 hours, 32 minutes, in the ninth inning.
Chapman took over to begin the ninth and, pitching in steady showers on a slippery mound, issued a leadoff walk to Robinson Chirinos. When the count went to 3-1 on Shin-Soo Choo, Girardi emerged from the dugout to talk with the umpires.
After a brief discussion with the other umps, crew chief Paul Nauert signaled for the tarp at 10:40 p.m. The game resumed at 2:15 a.m., a bit after Girardi spoke to the umps.
"Just everything that was involved: the conditions, you're putting your athletes at risk, you're having them sit down for 3 1/2 hours, you're asking them to get loose again, you've got guys slipping all over the outfield. When does health become a concern?" he said.
Nauert said "our job is to try to get the game in. Just to cut it short for rain is not something that we're doing. We take that integrity part of it very seriously."
"You've got to give both teams an equal, fair opportunity," he said. "We were going to wait as long as we could."
Tony Barnette (5-2) got the win and Sam Dyson earned his 16th save as Texas won its third in a row.
It was the latest ending at the new Yankee Stadium. A 19-inning game against Boston in 2015 briefly delayed by a power outage ended at 2:13 a.m.
Ian Desmond and Rougned Odor homered for Texas, which owns the best record in the AL. Mark Teixeira homered for the second straight day and got three hits for the Yankees.
The start of the game was delayed 21 minutes because rain was in the area, but not a drop fell at the stadium until the middle innings.
The grounds crew worked on the field a couple of times in the late innings. They tried before the top of the ninth to keep a messy diamond in playable shape, drawing a cheer from the crowd.
Carlos Beltran singled three times as the designated hitter while Alex Rodriguez sat for the second straight day. With the Yankees hovering around .500, team management indicated the slumping A-Rod could be sitting more often.
"I want to be a contender, not a pretender," general manager Brian Cashman said.
The Yankees sent 1B Ike Davis outright to Triple-A. They signed him earlier this month and he went 3 for 14 with an RBI in eight games.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (8-1, 2.79 ERA) has won eight straight road decisions since last August.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (5-4, 2.71) turned his right ankle in his previous start, and Girardi said there's still "some concern" over how he's feeling.