MLB reschedules Cardinals game after positive tests

(Reuters) - Major League Baseball has rescheduled Friday’s game between the St. Louis Cardinals and host Milwaukee Brewers after two visiting players tested positive for COVID-19.

The Brewers will now play their home opener versus St. Louis on Saturday and make up Friday’s game with a doubleheader under a shortened, seven-inning format on Sunday, MLB said.

Neither MLB nor the Cardinals said who tested positive but the team confirmed it was two players.

“We are supportive of Major League Baseball’s decision to postpone today’s game and look forward to playing our home opener as soon as conditions safely allow,” Brewers General Manager David Stearns said in a statement.

“The health and safety of our players and employees are, and will continue to be, our top priorities.”

The league and its players’ union agreed on Friday that both games of all double-headers will be seven innings long for the remainder of the 2020 regular season, in the interest of “player health and safety,” MLB said.

The Cardinals and Brewers are the latest MLB teams whose schedules have been impacted by COVID-19. It follows a larger outbreak of the virus with the Miami Marlins that resulted in a week’s worth of their games being postponed.

The slew of games impacted by the virus could potentially endanger MLB’s season, which only began last Thursday with a reduced 60-game schedule four months after it was originally set to kick off a 162-game regular season.

Any players who test positive for the novel coronavirus must have two negative tests taken at least 24 hours apart before they are allowed to return to team facilities.

Miami, who finished their three-game, season-opening series in Philadelphia on Sunday, have had 19 positive tests over the past week among both their players and staff and have been shut down by MLB until next week.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who had all four of their games this week versus the New York Yankees postponed after the COVID-19 outbreak with the Marlins, shut down their ballpark on Thursday after two staff members tested positive.

The Phillies’ weekend series versus the Toronto Blue Jays was then postponed by MLB.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, additional reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Toby Davis