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MLB postpones Nationals-Diamondbacks game because of smoke


Hazardous smoke from Canadian wildfires forced Major League Baseball to postpone a game for a second consecutive day, with poor air quality in Washington pushing Thursday’s Nationals-Arizona Diamondbacks contest off the schedule.

MLB announced that game will be made up at Nationals Park on June 22, when the Nationals and Diamondbacks have a mutual off day to finish their three-game series. It said Thursday’s game was postponed due to “clearly hazardous air conditions in Washington D.C.”

But as the smoke persists and conditions remain unhealthy and unpleasant to be outside watching a game – let alone play in one – the league is losing flexibility.

Thursday’s air quality worsened in Washington and remained poor in Philadelphia, where Wednesday’s Detroit Tigers-Phillies game was postponed; the clubs simply moved the game back to 6 ET Thursday evening. But as of Thursday morning, air quality remained very unhealthy in Philadelphia and an advisory runs through at least Friday morning.

And the Yankees and Chicago White Sox are playing a doubleheader in New York that began at 4 ET, under improved but still unhealthy conditions. The air quality index near Yankee Stadium was 173 around gametime, which the Environmental Protection Agency classifies as unhealthy, with conditions more greatly affecting those with health conditions.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters during his pregame press briefing that the club expects both games will be played today.

MLB said additional updates may be forthcoming.

In Washington, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments issued an unprecedented Code Purple advisory, which by EPA standards urges avoiding “long or intense” outside activities and for sensitive groups to cease all physical activity outdoors.

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