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Saturday August 15th, 2020 3:15AM

LEADING OFF: Cards, Brews try again after virus postponement

By The Associated Press
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A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

WHO’S PLAYING?

The Cardinals will see if they can begin their series at Milwaukee after St. Louis became the latest team to get shut down by the coronavirus.

The Brewers’ home opener was postponed Friday because two Cardinals players tested positive for COVID-19.

“TV Show suggestions please,” tweeted Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who had been scheduled to start.

Six clubs were off Friday because of the virus and its effects — Miami and Philadelphia had positive tests in their organizations, leaving Washington and Toronto with no games this weekend.

Commissioner Rob Manfred talked to union leader Tony Clark about the importance of players following the sport’s virus protocols in hopes of finishing the shortened, 60-game season.

“Every player in this league better take a hard look at what you’re doing off the field, because what you do affects, more than just you and your team,” Chicago Cubs outfielder Steven Souza Jr. tweeted. “Your decisions off the field will put all of our seasons in jeopardy this year."

IDLING NATS

With the Nationals just hanging around with no games this weekend, new reliever Will Harris will get a chance to heal without missing too much action.

Harris was put on the 10-day injured list Friday with a strained right groin. The move was retroactive to Wednesday, when he gave up two unearned runs in the eighth inning of Washington’s 5-1 loss to Toronto.

Because of a coronavirus outbreak among the Marlins, Washington’s weekend series at Miami was postponed. Max Scherzer and the World Series champs won’t play again until hosting the New York Mets on Tuesday. If Harris is ready to go when he’s eligible to be activated next Saturday, he will have missed only three games. Washington has days off Monday and Thursday.

HOT PADS

Eric Hosmer, Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres are off to a nice start at the plate after bringing up the rear in many offensive categories in recent seasons.

San Diego’s plus-19 run differential (52 runs scored/33 allowed) is its second best through eight games in team history. The Padres with Tony Gwynn were plus-33 in 1996.

Additionally, the Padres scored at least three runs in every game. Plus, they’ve looked sharp doing so in their new brown and gold color scheme, including home and road pinstripes.

SHAKY DIAZ

Stuggling Mets closer Edwin Diaz says he’d like to pitch more often. New manager Luis Rojas isn’t saying whether those opportunities will be in save situations.

Diaz’s role again is being watched closely for the second straight season after the right-hander walked two and hit a batter while recording only one out in Thursday night’s 4-2 loss to Boston.

“It was a little bit surprising, just kind of how the outing went,” Diaz said through a translator. “It had been five days since I last threw, so I felt like I didn’t have my mechanics in order.”

Diaz has one save in two chances this season after losing the closer’s role in 2019, when he was homer-prone and had a 5.59 ERA. He had 57 saves and a 1.93 ERA with Seattle in 2018.

The Mets’ ninth-inning options also include Seth Lugo, Jeruys Familia and Dellin Betances.

___

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

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