UPDATE: The American League is now up 3-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth

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10:52 PM: It’s now 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth, as the AL strung some hits off Craig Kimbrel, capped by Jason Kipnis’ two out double scoring Sal Perez.

And a surprise? Mariano Rivera comes into the game in the bottom of the eighth, not the ninth. Interesting choice.

9:41 PM: The AL extends its lead, going up 2-0 after an Adam Jones double, a Joe Mauer single and J.J. Hardy hitting into a fielder’s choice which scored Jones.  Oh, and a fan ran onto the field in the top of the fifth and was body slammed by a security guard right behind second base. Hope he enjoys jail tonight.

9:26 PM: Apart from the Robinson Cano HBP it had been all pitching until the top of the fourth, but then the AL drew first blood.

With Patrick Corbin on in relief of Clayton Kershaw, Miguel Cabrera doubled to right center. Then Chris Davis singled moving Cabrera to third. Jose Bautista then flew to center, deep enough to score Cabrera. Corbin got out of the inning after inducing a David Ortiz double play and we stand at 1-0 entering the bottom of the fourth.

Fun part about Cabrera’s double: just one pitch before he hit it Corbin fooled him so badly on a pitch Cabrera’s bat flew out of his hands and into the stands.  The man adjusts quickly.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.