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More positive tests prompt more baseball cancellations

Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. makes a sliding catch on a fly ball in foul territory hit by the Nationals’ Asdrubal Cabrera for a ninth-inning out Thursday in Washington. (AP photo)

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball has postponed this weekend’s scheduled series between Toronto and Philadelphia because of concerns about the coronavirus after two Phillies staffers tested positive.

“Major League Baseball will coordinate with health experts and the Major League Baseball Players Association in planning for the Phillies’ resumption of play, and will provide further scheduling updates as necessary,” the league said in a statement.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo revealed news of the postponed series Thursday, saying his club was “not going to Philadelphia,” where the series was scheduled.

“Our plans right now are to stay put and let MLB work through whatever they’re working through,” Montoyo said before his club played the last of four games in Washington.

It’s the latest in a series of scheduling changes as MLB attempts to play a 60-game season amid a pandemic that is surging in parts of the U.S.

The Braves' Drew Waters reacts after grounding out to third base during the eighth inning of an exhibition game against the Miami Marlins on July 22 in Atlanta. (AP file photo)

Earlier Thursday, word emerged that another player with the Miami Marlins — who recently played at Philadelphia — tested positive for COVID-19, bringing their total outbreak to 17 players, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The Phillies said there were no positive results among players from Wednesday’s testing. But there were two positives: One from a member of the coaching staff and one from a member of the home clubhouse staff.

All activity at Citizens Bank Park was canceled Thursday until further notice.

The Blue Jays are stuck on the road since the Canadian government wouldn’t let them use their stadium in Toronto this season because of fears about teams traveling back and forth to the U.S. Eventually, the Blue Jays are supposed to play home games at a minor league ballpark in Buffalo, but it isn’t ready. So Montoyo’s team played its “home opener” at Washington on Wednesday.

Miami’s team is quarantined in Philadelphia, where the Marlins’ outbreak was discovered during a weekend series against the Phillies.

Miami’s season has been suspended through at least Sunday, and it appears the schedule will be altered next week, too.

Milwaukee Brewers general manager David Stearns said it’s crucial for the league to understand what is taking place in Miami.

“The volume of positives we’ve seen on one team now is alarming,” he said. “And I think everyone feels that way. We have a very robust set of protocols in place for the explicit reason of preventing something like this happening.”

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