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Rain sure to be a factor for Game 2

Rain sure to be a factor for Game 2

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NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez took dozens of ground balls at third base late on Saturday afternoon, looking every bit like someone who expected to be playing in a few hours. He may have been cold, but he was dry.

The field at Yankee Stadium remained uncovered three hours before the scheduled 7:57 p.m. ET first pitch of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on FOX, as a threatening forecast appeared to be holding off and increasing hopes that there would be baseball in the Bronx.

"When I looked this morning, it looked grim," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Now I look at it and I think we've got a pretty decent shot of playing. I know the percentages went down. It seems like it might be like it was yesterday."

Girardi and Angels manager Mike Scioscia are scheduled to meet with representatives from Major League Baseball at 7 p.m. to discuss the forecast for Saturday's game. The two clubs fit in nine innings of action on Friday, with the Yankees defeating the Angels, 4-1, despite raw conditions.

The Yankees opened the gates for Game 2 as scheduled at 4:30 p.m. ET.

In the event that Game 2 could not be played on Saturday, an effort would be made to play the contest on Sunday before both clubs travel across the country. Game 3 of the ALCS is scheduled to be played at 4:13 p.m. ET on Monday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

As of 7:30 p.m., Weather.com -- the official Web site of the Weather Channel -- had raised the chance of precipitation to 55 percent for the first pitch of Game 2, with temperatures around 47 degrees and northeast winds at 15-25 mph. The chances of precipitation jumped to 60 percent at 10 p.m. and 70 percent overnight.

The National Weather Service continues to predict that Game 2 will see a 100 percent chance of precipitation, with a low around 41 degrees and a northeast wind between 14 and 20 mph, and gusts as high as 33 mph. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half-inch are possible.

AccuWeather.com was predicting a 67 percent chance of precipitation between the hours of 7 and 10 p.m. on Saturday, with a light, intermittent rain and drizzle becoming steadier rain as game time nears.

The scheduled starting pitchers for both clubs -- Joe Saunders for the Angels and A.J. Burnett for the Yankees -- are aware of the forecasts and the possibility that they may wind up pitching on Sunday instead of Saturday, or enduring a delay of some length.

"For us, it's just a matter of taking care of business, and whatever the weather throws at us, we have to deal with it, just like the Yankees have to deal with it," Saunders said. "They're just as cold as we are."

"The weather is not going to be a factor," Burnett said. "And if I need an extra day because of the weather, I'll do what I have to do to be ready for Sunday."

In the event of a postponement, Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said that the tickets for Game 2 would be honored when that game is played. For example, if Saturday's game is pushed to Sunday, the tickets would be accepted at Yankee Stadium gates then.

Major League Baseball has made no official announcement as of yet concerning a start time if Game 2 were to be moved to Sunday.

The Yankees have invited all fans interested in weather updates concerning future home games to check out Yankees.com/weather.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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