BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)The game between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday was postponed because of rain.
It will be made up as part of an afternoon doubleheader Sunday, with both games scheduled for seven innings. The Rangers said left-hander Kolby Allard will start the opener, followed by Mike Foltynewicz. The Blue Jays will have left-handers work both games, with Hyun Jin Ryu taking the mound for the opener and Steven Matz working the nightcap.
Toronto entered Saturday in third place in the AL East, eight games behind first-place Boston. Texas has lost seven of 10 and is last in the AL West.
The Blue Jays on Friday received approval from the Canadian government for an exemption on border restrictions that would allow them to return to Canada for a homestand that begins on July 30.
They played home games during the shortened 2020 season in Buffalo and started this season in Dunedin, Florida, before moving north to Buffalo. The Canadian government didn’t allow the team to play in Toronto because of the risk of spreading COVID-19. Toronto last played at 49,000-capacity Rogers Centre on Sept. 29, 2019.
Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro said that the team was approved to treat the retractable-roof stadium as an outdoor facility with a capacity of 15,000.
He also reflected on the larger role the team has in its home city.
”670 days – that’s how long it’s been since we played a true home game,” Shapiro said. ”The meaning of what home is. Home is Toronto and home is Canada. For our organization and for our players. It’s more crystal clear than it ever has been – a greater sense of appreciation, a greater sense of meaning of what it can be for a competitive drive towards a playoff spot, and really just grateful that we have a chance to be back in front of our fans and part of the recovery for the city, province, and country.”
Shapiro then described how excited he is for some of the team’s players and staff who have not had a chance to experience a game in Toronto.
”I think about Marcus Semien, Hyun Jin Ryu, George Springer – players who made a decision to come to the Toronto Blue Jays because Toronto was a big part of that decision,” Shapiro said. ”Canada was a big part of that decision, and yet they’ve never played a game as a hometown player.”
Shapiro then shared his visions for a dream ending to the tumultuous season.
”Thinking about ending this story with an October we all remember would be the ultimate,” he said. ”How incredible would it be to think about the journey we’ve experienced, the uncertainty of last season, playing a 60-game season in Buffalo, playing in three different homes for this season, and finally getting back to the place we all believe in, care about, and feel a bond and tie to, to end that with winning the last game would be one of the greatest baseball stories ever written. That’s a story I’d like to be a part of.”
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