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Yankees-Nats headlines July 23 openers

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

NEW YORK (AP) Mookie Betts, Gerrit Cole and a pair of high-profile matchups are set for opening day as Major League Baseball begins its shortened 60-game season on July 23 in ballparks without fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB released the schedule Monday, and it starts with two games. Cole and the New York Yankees visit the World Series champion Washington Nationals at 7:08 p.m. EDT, then Betts and his new Los Angeles Dodgers teammates host the San Francisco Giants at 10:08 p.m.

There are 14 games on July 24, including the first matchup at new Globe Life Field in Texas when the Rangers take on Colorado. The same day, Anthony Rendon and the Los Angeles Angels visit Oakland and the Cincinnati Reds host Detroit.

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Trump blasts Indians for mulling change

WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump on Monday criticized a pair of pro sports teams that are considering name changes in the wake of a national reckoning over racial injustice and inequality.

Trump tweeted, "They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct."

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Nats, Astros nix workouts for test delay

WASHINGTON (AP) Baseball's two World Series teams canceled workouts Monday because of coronavirus testing delays that one executive worried could endanger the season.

The defending champion Washington Nationals and reigning American League champion Houston Astros called off training camp practices after not receiving test results from Friday. The St. Louis Cardinals also scrubbed their scheduled workout for similar reasons.

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Braves OF Markakis opts out of season

ATLANTA (AP) Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis opted out of the 2020 season on Monday due to increased concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Markakis is the second Atlanta veteran in two days to announce plans to sit out the 60-game season. He follows right-hander Felix Hernandez, the former Cy Young winner with Seattle who was competing for a rotation spot before opting out on Sunday.

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Rangers slugger Gallo tests positive

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) All-Star slugger Joey Gallo tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the outfielder who is asymptomatic to miss the start of summer camp for the Texas Rangers after being among teammates who had worked out at their new ballpark for several weeks before that.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Monday that Gallo has had multiple tests, including one that came back negative. He was isolating at his high-rise Dallas apartment and away from teammates.

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Nola cleared for virus, rejoins Phillies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Phillies ace Aaron Nola reported to camp on Monday after waiting a few extra days because he was in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

"All my tests came back negative," Nola said. "If you don't have symptoms and you come in contact with somebody who ends up testing positive, you're out for probably at least seven days. That could possibly be two starts. It's obviously going to be a hard part of it. And sometimes it's out of our control. We just have to try to do our part every day."

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Betts critical of MLB's Floyd response

LOS ANGELES (AP) Mookie Betts wasn’t moved by Major League Baseball’s response in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody, and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ newest star has a goal of getting the Black community to love baseball as much as he does.

MLB released a statement nine days after the death of Floyd, the Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes on May 25. MLB was the last of the major pro sports leagues that either responded to Floyd's death or condemned racism.

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2 Brewers test positive for coronavirus

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Dodgers P Nelson to have back surgery

LOS ANGELES (AP) Dodgers pitcher Jimmy Nelson will undergo surgery on his lower back and miss the upcoming shortened season.

Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said Monday that Nelson's back had been bothering him since the start of spring training in February before camps were shut down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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