LEADING OFF: Braves-Nats wait to play, Rangers welcome fans

A look at what’s happening around the majors Monday:



The Nationals and Atlanta Braves hadn’t heard by Sunday evening whether Major League Baseball will allow their game while Washington deals with a COVID-19 outbreak that could prevent 11 players from participating.

Washington’s season-opening, three-game series against the Mets at Nationals Park was postponed because of coronavirus concerns.

Nats general manager Mike Rizzo said none of those 11 – a majority of whom, although not all, were supposed to be on the opening day roster – would be available if the three-game set with Atlanta begins Monday afternoon.

Drew Smyly is scheduled to make his first start for the Braves, 0-3 after getting swept in Philadelphia. Max Scherzer had been scheduled to start for Washington in the opener against the Mets.



The Texas Rangers are set to play their first regular-season game in front of fans at Globe Life Field. The $1.2 billion ballpark opened last year when crowds weren’t permitted during the virus-shortened season — the stadium did allow fans when it held the first neutral-site World Series and also the NL Championship Series.

Globe Life Field is the only stadium in the majors that is open to 100% capacity for fans.

Rangers newcomer Mike Foltynewicz is set to face Toronto.


Cedric Mullins and the Orioles are 3-0 going into their series at Yankee Stadium. Mullins went 5 for 5 with three doubles as Baltimore finished up a sweep at Fenway Park.

“I think the synergy we have is really strong,” Mullins said. “Guys have been playing with each other for a few years now.”

In last year’s pandemic-shortened season, the Orioles finished fourth in the AL East with a 25-35 record, coming off 108 losses in 2019 and a club-record high 115 the previous year.

Boston, meanwhile, fell to its first 0-3 start at Fenway Park since 1948.


Twins center fielder Byron Buxton left Sunday’s game at Milwaukee in the third inning with an illness unrelated to COVID-19, according to team officials. Buxton homered in each of Minnesota’s first two games and doubled in his only plate appearance Sunday. … Royals 3B Hunter Dozier hasn’t played for two straight games because his right hand is swollen. Manager Mike Matheny doesn’t expect him to miss much time.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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