LOS ANGELES: An outbreak of COVID-19 rocked Major League Baseball on Monday, forcing the postponement of multiple games less than a week after the sport launched its season following a four-month coronavirus delay. Major League Baseball confirmed in a statement that games between the Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles in Florida, and the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees in Pennsylvania, had been scrapped.
The decision followed reports that 10 more members of the Marlins — eight players and two coaches — had tested positive for the coronavirus following Sunday’s game against the Phillies in Philadelphia. Four Marlins players — pitcher Jose Urena, first baseman Garrett Cooper, outfielder Harold Ramirez and catcher Jorge Alfaro — had already tested positive for COVID-19. Major League Baseball said in a statement the games had been postponed in order to allow for additional testing.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay’s Hunter Renfroe swatted two home runs, including back-to-back shots with Joey Wendle in an eight-run fourth inning, as the Rays beat the Atlanta Braves 14-5 on Monday in St Petersburg, Fla. The Rays sent up 11 batters in the deciding frame against Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz (0-1) — using four hits, three walks and a hit batter to extend their winning streak to three games. The eight runs were Tampa Bay’s most in an inning since scoring nine in the first against Toronto on Oct. 4, 2015.
Rays starter Tyler Glasnow fired four strong innings, striking out nine, walking two and allowing just a solo homer. Diego Castillo (1-0) worked a perfect fifth, and Tampa Bay pitchers recorded 19 strikeouts, setting a team record for the most in a nine-inning game. Foltynewicz, who allowed six runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings, was designated for assignment after the game. Matt Adams and Dansby Swanson both homered for Atlanta.
CUBS 8, REDS 7
Jon Lester tossed five hitless innings, but visiting Chicago had to hold on for a victory over Cincinnati after nearly blowing a seven-run lead. Anthony Rizzo homered for the third time on the young season while Steven Souza Jr. and David Bote each had two RBIs for the Cubs, who have totaled 17 runs during back-to-back wins.
The Reds fell behind 8-1 before scoring all of their runs against a Cubs bullpen that allowed seven runs on six hits and eight walks in four innings. After plating two runs in the ninth, Cincinnati still had the bases loaded with one out. However, Jeremy Jeffress entered and struck out Phillip Ervin and got Joey Votto to line out to center field on a 3-2 count.
BREWERS 6, PIRATES 5 (11 INNINGS)
Eric Sogard’s RBI double in the 11th inning gave Milwaukee a win and spoiled Pittsburgh’s home opener. After the Brewers scored four runs in the ninth to force extra innings, Brock Holt started at second in the 11th and scored on Sogard’s one-out shot down the line in left against Dovydas Neverauskas (0-1). David Phelps (1-0) pitched scoreless ball in the 10th and 11th innings for the Brewers. Colin Moran homered twice for Pittsburgh, and Jarrod Dyson added a two-run single.
METS 7, RED SOX 4
Pete Alonso hit a missile for his first home run of the season, Dominic Smith and Michael Conforto also went deep, and visiting New York won at Boston.
Alonso, the home run champion a season ago with a record-setting 53 as a rookie, put a 1-for-12 start behind him with a two-run blast over the Green Monster as the Mets snapped a two-game skid. Smith’s homer drove in three runs, and Conforto hit a two-run shot. Seth Lugo pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his first save. Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts homered and each had two RBIs for the Red Sox, who lost their third straight at home. Boston pitching has given up seven runs in each of the defeats.
PADRES 6, DIAMONDBACKS 2
Fernando Tatis Jr. capped a five-run fourth inning with a bases-loaded triple, leading host San Diego to a victory over Arizona. The Padres won three of the four games in the season-opening series. In the first inning, Trent Grisham hit his first home run as a Padre. The Diamondbacks got both of their runs in the third inning, on a Starling Marte RBI double and an Eduardo Escobar RBI single.
San Diego starter Joey Lucchesi allowed two runs on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. Cal Quantrill (1-0) followed with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Arizona’s Luke Weaver (0-1) gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings.
ATHLETICS 3, ANGELS 0
Chris Bassitt combined with five relievers on a nine-hitter and Mark Canha hit his first home run of the season as host Oakland took three of four in its season-opening series with Los Angeles. Bassitt pitched into and out of trouble in his four shutout innings, allowing five hits and one walk. He struck out five. Burch Smith (2-0), T.J. McFarland, Yusmeiro Petit, Jake Diekman and Soria took it from there, limiting the Angels to four hits over the final five innings to cap a series in which Oakland pitching allowed just 11 runs.
The Angels finished the game with the potential tying run at the plate, but Mike Trout struck out looking against Soria with runners at first and second. Trout went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a walk.
ROYALS 14, TIGERS 6
Maikel Franco smacked two of Kansas City’s six homers, including a three-run blast to cap a six-run fourth inning, as they spoiled Detroit’s home opener.
Franco notched his first multi-homer game since July 26, 2018. Whit Merrifield had three hits, including a two-run homer, scored three runs and knocked in three more for Kansas City. Jorge Soler, Salvador Perez and Brett Phillips also homered in the victory. Foster Griffin got the win in his major league debut, tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief before departing with a left forearm strain. JaCoby Jones hit a three-run homer for the Tigers while Victor Reyes added a solo blast and drove in two runs.
ASTROS 8, MARINERS 5
Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve both slugged their first home runs of the season while Brandon Bielak produced 3 1/3 innings of effective relief in his major league debut as host Houston beat Seattle to claim a four-game series.
Bielak (1-0), recalled earlier on Monday after ace right-hander Justin Verlander landed on the 10-day injured list with a forearm strain, retired the first eight batters he faced after entering in the fourth inning. He wound up allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out four without a walk.
Rookie first baseman Evan White staked the Mariners to a 3-0 lead with his first career home run, a two-run blast to left-center off James in the top of the third. The Astros rallied for four runs in the bottom of the inning against Mariners starter Kendall Graveman (0-1).
BLUE JAYS 4, NATIONALS 1
Teoscar Hernandez hit two home runs and Rowdy Tellez and Danny Jansen each had one as Toronto won at Washington. Ryan Borucki (1-0) allowed one hit and a walk with two strikeouts in 1 1/3 relief innings to gain the victory. Anthony Bass pitched around a single in ninth to earn his first save of the season. Washington starter Anibal Sanchez (0-1) allowed four runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out seven and walked one. Toronto starter Trent Thornton allowed one run, eight hits and two walks while striking out three in four innings.
WHITE SOX AT INDIANS, PPD.
The scheduled opener of a three-game series at Cleveland was postponed due to inclement weather and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday. The makeup game will start at 3:30 p.m. ET with the originally scheduled game following approximately 45 minutes after the completion of the first game.
ORIOLES AT MARLINS, PPD.
Miami’s scheduled home opener against Baltimore was postponed, as was the game scheduled for Tuesday between the two teams, after more than a dozen members of the Marlins’ roster and staff reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. The games scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday between the clubs in Baltimore have yet to be impacted.
YANKEES AT PHILLIES, PPD.
The opening game of a scheduled two-game set between New York and host Philadelphia was postponed as a precaution following the Phillies’ season-opening series with Miami, which experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 among its players and staff. – Reuters