MLB's Athletics return to play Friday after virus layoff


New York (AFP)

The Oakland Athletics were cleared Thursday to resume practice activity and will resume the Major League Baseball season at home Friday against the San Diego Padres after four postponed games.

The A's missed a game Sunday at Houston and games Tuesday through Thursday at Seattle after a positive COVID-19 test within the club's traveling party last Friday.

All subsequent tests by the traveling party, including those taken on Wednesday, have returned negative, allowing the A's to resume workouts at Oakland Coliseum and games as scheduled against the Padres on Friday.

The missed A's game against Houston will be played as part of a double-header at Oakland on Tuesday. The Seattle contests will be played as doubleheaders on September 14 in Seattle and September 26 in Oakland.

At 22-12, the A's lead the American League West division by two games over Houston with Seattle 8 1/2 back.

The Athletics avoided a coronavirus outbreak such as those that caused major layoffs and postponements for the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals earlier in the season.

The Major League campaign was due to open in March before the COVID-19 outbreak delayed the start to July and forced the season to be shrunk from 162 games per club to 60 games per team, ending on September 27 with an expanded playoffs set to conclude with the World Series in late October as originally planned.