First Marlins Park rain delay comes on Opening Day

First Marlins Park rain delay comes on Opening Day

MIAMI -- Marlins Park experienced a first in the second inning of Monday's season opener -- a rain delay. For the first time in the fourth season of the retractable-roof building, play was halted due to weather.

It occurred on what was shaping up as a bright, sunny South Florida afternoon. But the unexpected shower came with Miami batting in the bottom of the second inning against Atlanta, causing home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson to stop play as the retractable-roof closed.

"I tried to predict that a cloud would go north; it went south on top of our ballpark," Marlins president David Samson said. "The roof closed as quickly as I could get it closed, short of me pushing it. So we had a 16-minute rain delay, which was the first at Marlins Park."

With the roof open, the pregame ceremony went smoothly before the first pitch was thrown at 4:22 p.m. ET.

Samson said the roof closes in about 12 minutes. It took 13 for it to close on Monday. Martin Prado was at the plate against Julio Teheran when the weather picked up and Nelson stopped the action. Play resumed at 5 p.m.

The Marlins don't have an infield tarp, so the infield was treated with dry sand. They do have tarps to cover the mound and home plate.

Samson added that the club hopes to keep the roof open all week.

"Fans got to enjoy the rain delay, and I did not," he said. "I can only say we made a memory. We always promise we're going to make memories."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.