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Giants-Mariners games postponed, moved due to smoky skies

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EATTLE — The two-game series between the San Francisco Giants and Mariners in Seattle that was scheduled to start Tuesday night was postponed because of poor air quality caused by the West Coast wildfires.

While the air quality seemed to be improving somewhat Tuesday afternoon, Giants manager Gabe Kapler said both teams, Major League Baseball and the players’ union were all in agreement about the decision.

He said players had some reservations about plans to play.

“I think there was some concern, yeah, for sure,” Kapler said. “Everybody was reading the reports on the air quality and we all wanted to be safe.”

The teams will now play at 9:40 p.m. ET Wednesday and 4:10 p.m. ET Thursday at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

The announcement came as forecasters called for smoke to reach very unhealthy levels in Western Washington through at least Thursday.

Both teams had a scheduled day off Thursday that allowed them to avoid playing a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Some players complained about smoky conditions Monday night after the Mariners split a doubleheader with the Oakland Athletics. The smoke level during the games reached a level of very unhealthy on the air quality index, even with the roof closed at T-Mobile Park.

Seattle manager Scott Servais said he thought “visibility and playability” were fine Monday night after the games and that Major League Baseball officials were comfortable with allowing the makeup doubleheader to proceed. But the smoke got worse throughout the evening, seeming to increase when rain moved into the area.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said several players began to complain as the night wore on.

“I’m a healthy 22-year-old. I shouldn’t be gasping for air or missing oxygen. I’ll leave it at that,” said Jesus Luzardo, who started the opener for Oakland.

The area has had unhealthy air quality for about a week after weather patterns have brought smoke from wildfires east of Seattle in Washington, Oregon and California. There also are fires burning near San Francisco – the air quality is expected to reach unhealthy levels there Wednesday as well – but the air quality is better overall.

A Mariners official said smoke is expected to start clearing late Thursday or Friday when they return home for a three-game series with the San Diego Padres, followed by their final three home games with the Houston Astros next Monday through Wednesday.

“We appreciate the Giants willingness to work with us on this challenge, and we look forward to returning to T-Mobile Park on Friday to host the Padres,” Mariners President Kevin Mather said.

The decision could have playoff implications as the Mariners lose two of their remaining eight home games. The Giants are currently sitting in the second NL wild-card position, while the Mariners are 1 1/2 games behind the Astros for second place in the AL West and 4 1/2 games back for the AL wild card.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”