Spring training shuts down, MLB calls off games for virus

Sports

Washington Nationals center fielder Emilio Bonifacio (27) and second baseman Starlin Castro (14) tap arms as they get ready in the dugout prior to a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Major League Baseball is delaying the start of its season by at least two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak and has suspended the rest of its spring training game schedule. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Even before the first pitch, St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter could detect an odd vibe at Roger Dean Stadium.

“It felt like the most meaningless baseball game in the history of the sport,” he said.

Shortly before the Cardinals finished off the Miami Marlins 3-0 Thursday at Jupiter, Florida, the official word came: Major League Baseball had postponed opening day for at least two weeks and called off spring training exhibitions because of the virus outbreak.

“We pretty much were told that as soon as this game was over it was probably going to get suspended. You can imagine the amount of energy,” Carpenter said.

“More than likely the season’s pushed back and more than likely after this day the spring training games are canceled, so it’s like, what are we doing?” he said.

A handful of games were played in Florida while the slate of Arizona exhibitions was rained out. A night game between Baltimore and Minnesota in Fort Myers, Florida, was canceled after MLB’s announcement.

Tom Williams, from Venice, Florida, was among the crowd of 6,118 watching the Marlins-Cardinals game.

“When people were leaving, some of the season ticketholders, of which we are, they said we’ll see everyone next year,” he said. “So we thought this was probably the last game.”

The decision left most everyone in the sport in limbo.

“We’re all still figuring everything out,” Seattle pitcher Kendall Graveman said. “This is a first for everyone. Man, it’s invisible, too. So we’re really trying to take precautions. But yeah, it’s crazy.”

CARDINALS 3, MARLINS 0

St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright gave up two hits over five innings, striking out three. John Gant worked two innings in relief, walking two and allowing two hits.

José Ureña allowed one hit over five scoreless innings for Miami, walking one and striking out three.

BRAVES 5, TIGERS 3

Atlanta starter Kyle Wright, the fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft, gave up two hits — including a home run by Jonathan Schoop — over five innings. Riley Unroe homered for the Braves.

Spencer Turnbull allowed two hits and walked two over three innings in the start for Detroit.

BLUE JAYS (SS) 7, PIRATES 5

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bischette each homered and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled for Toronto. Trent Thornton gave up three runs on seven base hits over his three-inning start.

Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove was tagged for three runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out four. Bryan Reynolds and Cole Tucker homered.

PHILLIES 8, RAYS 4

Jake Arrieta gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings for Philadelphia. Josh Harrison, Roman Quinn, Neil Walker and Phil Gosselin each homered.

Brendan McKay recorded four outs, allowing four runs on four hits, two of them home runs. Hunter Renfroe homered for Tampa Bay.

YANKEES 6, NATIONALS 3

Tyler Wade homered and Clint Frazier and Chris Iannetta both doubled for New York.

Washington starter Patrick Corbin gave up one hit over four innings. Sean Doolittle allowed gave up three runs on three hits while retiring just one batter. Victor Robles homered and Yan Gomes doubled.

BLUE JAYS (SS) 22, CANADA JR. TEAM 6

Rowdy Tellez hit a solo home run and Kevin Vicuña singled, homered and drove in four runs. Jordan Romano worked an inning in the start, allowing two hits and striking out two.

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