More than a dozen Miami Marlins players and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, stranding the team in Philadelphia and disrupting Major League Baseball’s schedule on the fifth day of the pandemic-delayed season. Miami’s home opener against Baltimore was postponed as was Tuesday’s game at Marlins Park. Also postponed was the Yankees’ series opener at Philadelphia, where New York would have been in the same clubhouse the Marlins used last weekend.
Nine Marlins players on the 30-man roster, two taxi squad players and two staff members tested positive. The Yankees are staying in Philadelphia and have their own clubhouse staff with the team there. The Marlins postponed their flight home Sunday night after their series finale against the Phillies. The Orioles are scheduled to host the Marlins in a two-game series starting Wednesday.
In Monday's MLB action:
Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith all homered, Michael Wacha pitched well over five innings and the New York Mets beat the Boston Red Sox 7-4. Red Sox opener Josh Osich escaped trouble in the first thanks to two Mets baserunning mistakes but gave up a two-run shot to Conforto in the second that cleared both the usual visitor's bullpen and the auxiliary tent behind it.
Teoscar Hernández hit two of Toronto's four solo homers off Aníbal Sánchez to account for all the Blue Jays' scoring in a 4-1 victory over the Washington Nationals. Rowdy Tellez and Danny Jansen also went deep for the Blue Jays. Toronto was without two key players. Closer Ken Giles went on the injured list Monday, and shortstop Bo Bichette was scratched from the lineup about 15 minutes before the first pitch with a tight left hamstring. Toronto improved to 2-2 and dropped the reigning World Series champions to 1-3. Washington got 11 hits but left 10 runners on base.
Fernando Tatis Jr. raced around the bases on a three-run triple that highlighted a five-run rally and Trent Grisham hit his first home run for the San Diego Padres, who beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 Monday to take three of four games in their opening series. The Padres, who feel they're built for success in this pandemic-shortened 60-game season, outscored the Diamondbacks 21-9 in the four games. San Diego hasn't been to the playoffs since winning consecutive NL West titles in 2005-06. It hasn't had a winning season since 2010.
Alex Bregman hit his 100th career homer, a three-run shot, and Jose Altuve added a solo drive to give the Houston Astros an 8-5 win over the Seattle Mariners. The Astros trailed by two in the third inning before Bregman's first home run of the season put them ahead 4-3. Altuve, who had two RBIs, connected in the fifth for the first of three runs to pad the lead and help the Astros take three of four in the series from their AL West foes.
Maikel Franco hit two of Kansas City's six home runs, and the Royals pounded the Tigers 14-6, spoiling Detroit's fan-free home opener. Whit Merrifield had three hits and three RBIs, finishing a triple shy of the cycle on a night when the Royals rallied from an early 5-1 deficit.
Hunter Renfroe homered twice and Tampa Bay pitchers set a team nine-inning record with 19 strikeouts in the Rays' 14-5 romp over the Atlanta Braves. Tyler Glasnow struck out nine and allowed one hit over four innings in first start after missing part of summer camp with the Rays after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Anthony Rizzo homered for the third time, and the Chicago Cubs held on for an 8-7 victory over a Cincinnati Reds team coping with coronavirus uncertainty. Jeremy Jeffress escaped a bases-loaded threat in the ninth for his first save with the Cubs. Wade Miley failed to make it through the second inning of his Reds debut. Rizzo scored three times as the Cubs won for the third time in four games. The Reds dropped to 1-3, a disappointing start after their $165 million offseason makeover.
Tyler Chatwood pitched three-hit ball over six innings, Willson Contreras homered and the Chicago Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-1 to take two of three in their opening series. Chatwood gave the Cubs just the sort of outing they were looking for after working mostly out of the bullpen last season. He struck out eight and walked two in an impressive start for a pitcher who struggled with his control his first two years in Chicago. Contreras smacked an RBI double in the Cubs' four-run fourth and a long solo homer in the seventh.
In other MLB news:
Two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber could be done for the season. He is headed to the injured list after just one inning in his debut as a Texas Rangers starter. Kluber has a tear in a small muscle in his right shoulder and is not expected to make another start this season — if he pitches at all.
Utility player Josh Harrison has signed a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals less than a week after he was released by the Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals added the 33-year-old Harrison to their 30-man active roster Monday. To make room, catcher Raudy Read was optioned to Washington's alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
The Colorado Rockies say left-handed pitcher Tim Collins has opted out of the 2020 season. Collins is the second player in the organization who has withdrawn. In late June, Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond announced he wouldn't play this season, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic.
News of a COVID-19 outbreak in major league baseball has prompted anxiety over the NFL's plans. Like baseball, the NFL has opted out of using the bubble environments adopted by the NHL, NBA, WNBA, and major league soccer. In a letter Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell assured fans that players will be tested regularly, and social distancing protocols will be in place. All preseason games have been canceled.
Meantime, the NHL says zero players tested positive for the coronavirus last week. The league says it administered a total of 4,256 tests to more than 800 players from July 18-25. Two players tested positive during the first week of training camps July 13-17. Players and staff from the 24 teams participating in the expanded Stanley Cup playoffs traveled to the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, on Sunday.
In other virus-related sports news:
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is committing $1.5 million to supplement the income of WNBA players who choose not to play this season. That can be because of coronavirus concerns or social justice reasons. The funds will come from the KAI Empowerment Initiative that Irving launched today. It will also provide players with a financial literacy program created by UBS. The WNBA season began Saturday — to be eligible for Irving's program, WNBA players must give insight into their decisions and not be receiving salaries from any other entity.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has decided to cancel fall sports competition due to continuing health and safety concerns surrounding the pandemic. MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor says there are simply too many factors that prohibit the conference from safely delivering a competitive atmosphere. A decision on whether fall sports competition would be feasible in the spring will be determined by the conference presidents at a later date.
The NASCAR weekend in late August at Dover International Speedway will take place without fans. Delaware state officials denied the track's request to host a limited number of fans Aug. 21-23 in the interest of public health and safety. The track is to host a NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday and Sunday of that weekend.
The U.S. Tennis Association has canceled two lower-tier tennis tournaments in Orlando, Florida, saying that the coronavirus pandemic makes it too dangerous to hold the events without a bubble setup. The USTA says ATP Challenger 150 tourneys that were supposed to start on Aug. 22 and Aug. 29 at its national campus are being scrapped.
The Buffalo Bills have released receiver Ray-Ray McCloud and offensive lineman Garrett McGhin a day before players were set to report for the start of training camp. The moves on Monday trim Buffalo's roster to 86, with teams required to have a maximum 80 players by Aug. 16.
In other NFL news:
Former San Francisco 49er Dana Stubblefield has been convicted of the rape of a developmentally disabled woman. Prosecutors said he lured the victim to his home with the promise of a babysitting job. A jury on Monday found the 49-year-old guilty of rape by force, oral copulation by force and false imprisonment. Jurors also found that Stubblefield used a gun during the assault. Stubblefield could face 15 years to life in prison. His lawyers say there was no rape and the woman consented to sex. They plan to seek a new trial. Stubblefield was a defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders.
New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says the club has signed its four 2020 draft picks to four-year contracts. The signings were announced as rookies reported for training camp on Monday. New Orleans' most recent draft class is headlined by first-round pick Cesar Ruiz. The Saints also drafted Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun and Dayton tight end Adam Trautman in the third round. They took Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens in the seventh round.
Washington has put quarterback Alex Smith on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp. Smith's right leg has recovered 20 months after he broke the fibula and tibia in it during a game. But the 36-year-old veteran hasn't been fully cleared for practices and full football activity.
The Tennessee Titans now have only their first-round draft pick left unsigned after agreeing to terms with cornerback Kristian Fulton. The Titans announced the deal with their second-round selection Monday night. The No. 61 pick overall, Fulton started two seasons at LSU and helped the Tigers win a national title last season. . That leaves only offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, the No. 29 pick overall, left unsigned out of Tennessee's six-man draft class.
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