Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees expected to play Friday after COVID-19 postponement

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The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are expected to return to action Friday, sources told ESPN’s Enrique Rojas, after positive COVID-19 tests caused Yankees players Thursday’s game has been postponed.

There have been no new positives in testing since then, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan, with another round of testing set to be conducted Friday afternoon.

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All six of the Yankees’ cases have now been confirmed, sources told ESPN, meaning: Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, Kyle Higashioka, Jonathan Loaisiga, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Wandy Peralta would be on the COVID-19 injured list.

As the wave of positives spurred the immediate future of a Yankees team still trying to determine how it will approach the July 30 trade deadline, Judge’s inclusion rippled through the league, with players participating in the All-Star Game of flew across the country on Tuesday to play a whole series of matches on Friday.

Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers told ESPN’s Marly Rivera that the team’s five All-Stars would be further tested on Thursday. Unvaccinated All-Stars were tested for COVID-19 while in Denver for the game, and all tests were negative, sources said.

The Yankees, who are fourth in the American League East 46-43, were hoping to put a dent in Boston’s eight-game advantage. The Red Sox defeated both three-game series against New York in the first half of the season, and the teams would play eight games over the next week and a half as the trade deadline approaches and the Yankees figure out whether they will compete for a playoff spot, punt on the season or hold as it is.

This is the second outbreak among the Yankees this year, despite the team crossing the 85% vaccination threshold, allowing teams to enjoy relaxed protocols. In May, more than half a dozen Yankees coaches, including pitching coach Matt Blake, third base coach Phil Nevin and first base coach Reggie Willits, tested positive. Nevin spent three weeks in the hospital, but he said he was vaccinated to save him from a worse outcome.

Of the six Yankees players who currently have positive tests, the majority had received a COVID-19 vaccine and were asymptomatic, said general manager Brian Cashman. Loaisiga went on the COVID-19 injury list on Saturday, when the Yankees were in Houston, and did not travel home with the team on Sunday.

Thursday’s postponement was the eighth COVID-19-related this season, but the first in nearly three months. Also delayed were a series of three games between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals on April 1-4 and the Atlanta game at the Nationals on April 5 two Minnesota TwinsLos Angeles Angels games on April 17-18 and a Twins-Oakland Athletics match on April 19.

Last year, 45 regular season games were postponed for virus-related reasons, two of which were not made up.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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