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Multiple positive COVID-19 tests in Cleveland Guardians organization; game vs. Chicago White Sox postponed

The Cleveland Guardians’ game against the Chicago White Sox has been postponed because of multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the Guardians organization, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday.

The game was postponed to allow for continued testing and contact tracing. MLB will provide a rescheduling update when it becomes available.

It was announced earlier Wednesday that Guardians manager Terry Francona tested positive for COVID-19 and would be sidelined indefinitely. He was not showing any symptoms. Francona, 63, missed much of the past two seasons with a variety of health issues.

The game was postponed because of multiple positive tests among the coaches and traveling party, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. The positive tests stem from some in the traveling party being symptomatic, per sources.

Guardians bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who filled in when Francona stepped away last season, was to manage the series finale against the White Sox. Hale will stay in that role until Francona returns to the team.

It’s the first game postponed this season because of COVID-19 after the league postponed nine of 2,429 games last season. Forty-five games out of 900 were postponed because of COVID-19 during the shortened 2020 season.

It’s still possible the Guardians could play their next game, Friday in Minnesota, but might need to bring in coaches from their minor league system.

Cleveland’s team recently had a coronavirus outbreak, with infielders Owen Miller, Yu Chang and pitchers Cal Quantrill and Anthony Castro all being placed on the COVID-19 injury list.

Francona has been in a good health this season following two challenging years. In 2020, he managed just 14 games during the pandemic-shortened season before he was hospitalized with gastrointestinal issues.

Last year, Francona struggled after undergoing offseason foot surgery and left the team in July.

Francona is in his 10th season with Cleveland. He won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox.

Information from ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and The Associated Press was used in this report

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