Makeshift Marlins 4-0 winners in return to field

  • University of Maryland graduate
  • Lives in the Baltimore area with his wife and son

BALTIMORE — A season of delays produced another one for the Miami Marlins.

The start of Miami’s first game in nine days was delayed 40 minutes as Major League Baseball awaited final coronavirus test results to clear the Marlins to resume play Tuesday at Baltimore.

Multiple coronavirus tests for the Marlins came back inconclusive but were rerun, and all came back negative, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The Marlins were finally cleared to play and arrived at Camden Yards after 5 p.m. ET, but by 6:15 p.m., the teams still had not agreed on a starting time, which was eventually set for 8:15 p.m.

The wait proved worth it. Back from an eight-day hiatus, the Marlins found enough power and pitching within their vastly overhauled roster to beat the Orioles 4-0. Francisco Cervelli and Jesús Aguilar homered for the Marlins.

Before the game, Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill indicated that the team has been tested daily, and most of the results come back in the morning. He said Monday’s results were delayed, but all were cleared by 4:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.

“I can’t tell you how excited our guys are about getting on the field,” Hill said an hour before the start of the game.

When he woke up, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde wasn’t certain if the game would be played.

He said, “I got word there were issues with the test and we were going to be put on hold.”

Hill said the 13 players from the Opening Day roster who tested negative are now called “The Trece.” They remained quarantined for more than a week in Philadelphia and returned to the field Tuesday.

The Marlins then added players through minor league call-ups, the waiver wire and trades, which included an Olympic short track speed skating medalist (middle infielder Eddy Alvarez) and a couple of pitchers named Josh Smith (Josh A. Smith and Josh D. Smith).

“We expect to win games,” Hill said. “You look on to the field, and a lot of our regulars are still in place. No one is making excuses.”

Miami placed 13 players on the injured list before Tuesday’s game, including 10 pitchers.

“Obviously, as we got word on what was transpiring, it was a call in need of arms,” Hill said.

The Marlins’ season had been on pause since July 26 after at least 18 players and 21 overall in the traveling party tested positive for COVID-19 following a series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Tuesday’s game, the beginning of a four-game series, is a makeup from July 29, which was supposed to be Baltimore’s home opener. The Orioles instead played the New York Yankees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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