MLB approves catwalk ground rules change

Just in time for the playoffs, Major League Baseball has approved a change in the grounds rules for Tropicana Field that affects fly balls that strike the upper two catwalks in the domed stadium.

Instead of being in play, a batted ball that caroms off the A- and B-ring catwalks that support the stadium roof will be ruled a dead ball and the pitch will not count.

Balls that strike the two lower catwalks in fair territory will continue to be home runs.

The Rays requested the change after Jason Kubel's two-out, ninth-inning pop clanked off one of the catwalks and fell behind the pitcher's mound, driving in the go-ahead run in Minnesota's 8-6 victory over Tampa Bay on Aug. 5.

The Rays had scored six times in the eighth inning to tie the game.