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Sports

MLB Team Stranded Amid COVID Outbreak, Game Postponed

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The Miami Marlins’ home opener Monday night against Baltimore has been postponed as the Marlins deal with a coronavirus outbreak that stranded them in Philadelphia.

The Marlins postponed their flight home Sunday night after their series finale against the Phillies.

Shortstop Miguel Rojas finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle, driving in four runs in Miami’s 11-6 win at Citizens Bank Park.

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But Rojas and his teammates would not be celebrating their victory on a return flight to Miami, instead remaining in Philadelphia.

A person familiar with the decision to postpone Monday’s game told The Associated Press that the move was made due to health precautions. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the postponement hadn’t been announced.

Marlins pitcher Jose Urena was scratched from his scheduled start in Sunday’s game, and catcher Jorge Alfaro went on the injured list Friday.

No reasons were given for the moves, but manager Don Mattingly said those who tested positive would be quarantined in Philadelphia.

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The Marlins’ precarious health raised anew doubts about MLB’s ability to finish the season during a pandemic.

In Cincinnati, Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Nick Senzel felt sick Sunday, a day after a teammate went on the injured list because he tested positive for COVID-19.

Some Marlins players texted each other about the team’s health issues before Sunday’s game, but there was no talk of declining to play, Rojas said.

“That was never our mentality,” he said. “We knew this could happen at some point. We came to the ballpark ready to play.”

Said Mattingly: “It’s fair to say guys are concerned about things. They want how they’re feeling about the situation to be heard. I think it’s fair. We’re talking about health.”

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The Marlins played exhibition games at Atlanta on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Braves, who have since been without their top two catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d’Arnaud, after both players showed symptoms of COVID-19.

Mattingly declined to say whether he thought the Marlins’ health issues were related to the Atlanta stop.

Miami is a hot spot for the pandemic, but on Sunday, Mattingly said he feels safer there.

“You feel safe at the ballpark; I feel safe with my surroundings going home,” he said. “It’s a lot scarier on the road.”

UPDATE, July 27, 2020: ESPN reported Monday morning that 14 members of the Marlins had tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to the Marlins-Orioles game, the report said, the Phillies’ home game against the New York Yankees was also postponed.

Eric Jackson of EMJ Capital reported Monday morning that MLB was holding an “emergency meeting” to address the situation.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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