Nationals, Braves to make up postponed game in doubleheader

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WASHINGTON – The Nationals and Atlanta Braves will make up their game that was postponed Monday because of Washington’s coronavirus outbreak as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Major League Baseball announced the change Monday while Washington’s players were working out at Nationals Park.

Four players on the Nationals have tested positive for COVID-19 and seven more have been placed under quarantine after contact tracing determined they potentially were exposed.

The 2019 World Series champions have yet to play a game this season. Their opening three-game series against the New York Mets was postponed entirely.

Washington will begin play Tuesday against Atlanta. The teams then will play two seven-inning games back-to-back on Wednesday, with the first starting at 12:05 p.m. EDT.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.