Wrigley loses power, delays game

CHICAGO -- The lights went out at Wrigley Field and the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cubs was delayed 18 minutes Wednesday night after power lines came in contact with tree branches, causing a power outage.

A bank of lights behind home plate went out as Cubs starter Tom Gorzelanny released a 3-1 pitch to Blake DeWitt in the fourth inning. Home plate umpire Wally Bell called the pitch a ball and granted DeWitt first base on the walk. As Dewitt was jogging down the first-base line, the rest of the stadium lights went out.

The Dodgers led 5-2 at the time.

On Wednesday night, it was reported the outage was caused by an electrical fire a few blocks away from Wrigley, and that the local utility, Commonwealth Edison, had to shut down the power grid.

On Thursday, a spokesman for Commonwealth Edison said there was no fire, and the power grid was not shut down.

During the outage, the Cubs transferred from their primary electrical service to their secondary service for Wrigley Field. The transfer didn't happen automatically, which resulted in the stadium lights going out.

As cameras flashed at the dark field, the public address announcer told the fans that it would take 15 minutes for the lights to come back on.

The game was halted at 8:25 p.m. CT and resumed at 8:43 p.m.

It was the first delay because of power failure at Wrigley since 2003. The Cubs had two games delayed due to power failures that year.

On May 6, 2003 a power outage in the Lakeview area hit Wrigley in the ninth inning of the Cubs' 9-6 loss to the Brewers. The game was delayed for about 15 minutes. On June 24, the Cubs-Brewers game was stopped for 16 minutes by an outage in the first inning.

The Cubs were the last team major league team to install lights. The first official night game at Wrigley Field was played Aug, 9, 1988, against the New York Mets after the first scheduled night game against the Philadelphia Phillies was rained out.