Cubs-Cardinals weekend series off due to virus; Braves-Phillies game rained out

AP photo by Jeff Roberson / The St. Louis Cardinals wait to be introduced before the start of a game against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on July 24.
AP photo by Jeff Roberson / The St. Louis Cardinals wait to be introduced before the start of a game against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on July 24.

ST. LOUIS - The entire three-game series between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium was postponed Friday night after two more players for the home team, as well as a staff member, tested positive for the coronavirus.

Major League Baseball announced the whole weekend set was off hours after saying Friday night's game had been scrapped to ensure everyone affected on the Cardinals was identified.

The Cardinals have been off since July 31, when two players' coronavirus tests returned positive. In all, eight St. Louis players have tested positive, including star catcher Yadier Molina.

The Cardinals spent five days in quarantine in a Milwaukee hotel before finally being cleared to travel back to St. Louis late Tuesday, when they returned negative tests for the second straight day. They got workouts in at home and had been prepared to return to action Friday.

Now their next game is scheduled for Monday at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs are next set to play Tuesday against the host Cleveland Indians.

The Cardinals and the Miami Marlins have been hit hardest by virus outbreaks since MLB started its shortened 60-game season. The Marlins missed more than a week before resuming play Tuesday.

MLB released its most recent testing numbers Friday. The league said there were 13,043 samples taken last week with 13 positive results for a 0.1% positive rate. During the monitoring phase, there have been 53,826 overall samples that have returned 71 positives for a 0.1% positive rate. Of those 71 positive results, 49 are players and 22 are staff.

Among the players who confirmed they tested positive for COVID-19 were a pair of All-Stars in Molina and Paul DeJong.

Before Friday's postponement, the Cardinals had already added three doubleheaders against the Milwaukee Brewers to a previously scheduled series to make up their three games postponed last weekend. Milwaukee will host doubleheaders Sept. 18 and 20 and will serve as the home team in the opener of a twinbill in St. Louis on Sept. 25.

The Cardinals will make up this week's series against the Detroit Tigers with doubleheaders Aug. 13 and Sept. 10. St. Louis had been scheduled to play the Chicago White Sox at the Field of Dreams in Iowa on Aug. 13. Those teams will play in Chicago on Aug. 14 instead.

Also Friday, a scheduled game between the Atlanta Braves and the host Philadelphia Phillies was postponed because of rain. The teams, who are set to meet Saturday as well, will now play a doubleheader of seven-inning games Sunday.

The Phillies now have six doubleheaders on the schedule and already played a seven-inning twinbill against the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

The Phillies have to make up a week's worth of games because the coronavirus outbreak among the Marlins forced them to take a week off after several Miami players had the virus during a weekend series in Philadelphia to open the season.

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