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Two MLB games postponed as Marlins deal with virus outbreak

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MIAMI - Two major league games scheduled for Monday night were postponed as the Miami Marlins deal with a coronavirus outbreak that stranded them in Philadelphia.

The Marlins' home opener against Baltimore was called off, as was the New York Yankees' game at Philadelphia. The Yankees would have been in the same clubhouse the Marlins used last weekend.

The Marlins postponed their flight home Sunday night after their series finale against the Phillies.

Major League Baseball announced the cancellation of both games about 7 1/5 hours before the scheduled first pitch, saying additional COVID-19 testing was being conducted. “The members of the Marlins' travelling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results,” MLB said in a statement.

Miami pitcher Jose Urena was scratched from his scheduled start in Sunday's game, and catcher Jorge Alfaro went on the injured list Friday. No reasons were given for the moves, but manager Don Mattingly said those who tested positive would be quarantined in Philadelphia.

The Marlins' precarious health raised anew doubts about MLB's ability to finish the season during a pandemic. In Cincinnati, Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas and centre fielder Nick Senzel felt sick Sunday, a day after a teammate went on the injured list because he tested positive for COVID-19.

Some Marlins players texted each other about the team's health issues before Sunday's game, but there was no talk of declining to play, shortstop Miguel Rojas said.

“That was never our mentality,” Rojas said. “We knew this could happen at some point. We came to the ballpark ready to play.”

Said Mattingly: “It's fair to say guys are concerned about things. They want how they're feeling about the situation to be heard. I think it's fair. We're talking about health.”

The Marlins played exhibition games at Atlanta on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Braves, who have since been without their top two catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d'Arnaud, after both players showed symptoms of COVID-19. Mattingly declined to say whether he thought the Marlins' health issues were related to the Atlanta stop.

Miami is a hot spot for the pandemic, but on Sunday, Mattingly said he feels safer there.

“You feel safe at the ballpark; I feel safe with my surroundings going home,” he said. “It's a lot scarier on the road.”

AP Sports Writers David Ginsburg in Baltimore and Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Steve-Wine

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