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Miami Marlins cancel home opener as COVID-19 hits team: reports

The Miami Marlins’ home opener against the Baltimore Orioles scheduled for later on Monday has been cancelled after a number of players from the Florida-based Major League Baseball club tested positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.

The Marlins, who opened their season last Friday with a three-game series in Philadelphia, were originally scheduled to return home after Sunday’s game but decided to wait until Monday to travel so they could undergo testing.

According to ESPN, eight players and two coaches tested positive after the latest round of testing on Sunday. That comes after four players received positive test results during the team’s trip to Philadelphia.

MLB did not immediately respond when asked by Reuters via email to confirm the reports, but Orioles general manager Mike Elias confirmed to the Associated Press that the game in Miami has been postponed.

After Sunday’s game, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said the members of the team who tested positive were quarantined in Philadelphia and that the team’s decision to postpone their flight was made with family members in mind.

“We were more comfortable flying as a group later,” said Mattingly. “We’re talking about these guys travelling back home to their families and their kids, and it’s the reason we want to be safe.”

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.

The Marlins’ precarious health raised new doubts about MLB’s ability to finish the season during a pandemic. In Cincinnati, Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas and centre fielder Nick Senzel felt sick Sunday, a day after a teammate went on the injured list because he tested positive for the coronavirus.

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