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Report: Marlins cancel home opener, ‘at least 14’ test positive for coronavirus

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Urena (62) works in the first inning of an exhibition baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, July 21, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins’ home opener Monday night against the Baltimore Orioles been postponed as the Marlins deal with a coronavirus outbreak that stranded them in Philadelphia.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers reported that at least 14 members of the Marlins have tested positive after eight players and two coaches were added to the list as of Monday morning.

The Phillies’ game on Monday against the New York Yankees is also postponed as they undergo testing following a series against Miami. Major League Baseball announced the decisions in a statement:

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal confirmed the news of eight new Marlins players testing positive, the team opted to play over the weekend despite a string of positive tests leading up to those most recent totals, hinting that there was cause for concern.

Multiple sources confirmed that the Marlins played despite having three players learn Sunday that they’d tested positive for COVID-19, just two days after a fourth player learned of a positive test on Friday. Two infectious-disease specialists told The Athletic on Sunday that those positive tests fit the definition of a “clear outbreak” of the virus within their team. But sources said those tests were not enough for either Major League Baseball or the club itself to give serious consideration to postponing this game.

Manager Don Mattingly said Sunday, before the 10 recent positive cases, that the Marlins never considered not playing.

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

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.

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.

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