February 5, 2020 / 9:12 PM / 5 months ago

Baseball: Tigers, Twins to play March exhibition game in Dominican Republic

(Reuters) - The Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins will play an exhibition game in the Dominican Republic ahead of the 2020 regular season, Major League Baseball said on Wednesday.

The March 7 game, to be held at the Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal in Santo Domingo, will be the first MLB game in the Dominican Republic since 2000 when the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros met during Spring Training at the same park.

The Tigers, who last played internationally in 1980, will be considered the home team for the Spring Training game between American League Central division rivals.

“International growth – especially in Latin America – is a priority for many teams across the sport,” Al Avila, the Tigers’ general manager, said in a news release.

“And for me, personally, it means a great deal with my father, Ralph, having started the first baseball Academy in the Dominican Republic – Campos Las Palmas – and with his efforts starting the Dominican Summer League.

“It’s truly a country that has passionate fans and a rich history with baseball.”

For the Twins, the game marks a return to the international stage after playing in the 2018 Puerto Rico Series against the Cleveland Indians.

“Our franchise is excited to have this opportunity to help celebrate the Dominican Republic’s love affair with our game and incredible impact on MLB,” said Twins chief executive Dave St. Peter.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond

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