The Seattle Mariners are going to have to learn to feel at home on the road.
Their two-game series against the visiting San Francisco Giants, originally scheduled for Tuesday-Wednesday in Seattle, has instead been moved to the Bay Area because of poor air quality in the Puget Sound region because of wildfires in Washington and Oregon.
The teams will open the series Wednesday night at Oracle Park and are set to conclude it Thursday afternoon, which was supposed to have been an off day for both teams. The Mariners will be the home team for both games.
"Unfortunately, the air quality in Seattle has gotten worse overnight here at T-Mobile Park, and it is not clearing at all (Tuesday)," Mariners president Kevin Mather said in a statement Tuesday. "Forecasters expect it to clear late Thursday and into Friday morning.
"As always, the health and safety of the players and our staff is our first priority. To assure the games could be played, the best solution was to relocate to the Bay Area," he added. "We appreciate the Giants' willingness to work with us on this challenge, and we look forward to returning to T-Mobile Park on Friday to host the Padres."
The Mariners (22-26) played a make-up doubleheader Monday against the Oakland Athletics under hazy conditions. The retractable roof over T-Mobile Park was closed, but there are openings on the sides that let the smoke in.
The Giants (23-24) had already flown to Seattle, but were to return home Tuesday night.
San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler said the conditions in Monday's doubleheader in Seattle were a factor in the decision to move the games after discussions between the teams, as well as Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.
"This is certainly a joint decision that was in the best interest of the players," Kapler said. "Everybody was reading the reports on the air quality. We all wanted to be safe, and players were definitely expressing some concerns."
For Mariners right-hander Ljay Newsome (0-0, 3.24 ERA), Wednesday will mark the return to the scene of the scariest moment of his short career.
In his second major league start last Tuesday, the Giants' Brandon Crawford led off the second inning and hit a 100-mph liner off Newsome's right wrist, knocking the rookie from the game. The Mariners' bullpen allowed three homers in a 6-5 defeat.
"I thought (Newsome) was throwing the ball pretty good," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "(The comebacker) changed the makeup of the game."
Newsome acknowledged it was frustrating getting KO'd with a 4-1 lead.
"It's kind of crazy," he said. "I've been hit plenty of times. I've never come out of a game though. It was different. It was slo-mo almost. I saw it the whole way, I just couldn't get my glove over, so it was just my initial reaction to get my arm up and protect myself."
When Servais and trainer Rob Nodine went to the mound, they could see seam marks from the ball on Newsome's wrist.
"He got smoked pretty good," Servais said.
Newsome was originally scheduled to oppose Tyler Anderson on Tuesday, but the Giants have pushed back Anderson's start to Thursday to allow fellow lefty-hander Drew Smyly (0-0, 2.92 ERA) to start Wednesday's game on regular rest.
Smyly is 1-2 with a 6.07 ERA in eight career appearances against the Mariners, including four starts.
--Field Level Media
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