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Giants' positive COVID test leads to postponement of games

NBC Sports

For the first time in more than two months the Giants had a member of the organization test positive for COVID-19, causing the postponement of Friday and Saturday's games against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park and putting their next several games in doubt. 

Players were pulled off the field minutes before the game was supposed to start, with the Giants soon announcing there had been a positive test within the organization. They provided no further information. Clubs are not allowed to disclose the identity of a person who tested positive unless he gives permission, but multiple sources confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area that it was a player who tested positive. The Giants will now undergo contact tracing and additional tests. 

"Following a positive test for COVID-19 in the San Francisco Giants’ organization, tonight’s and tomorrow’s scheduled games between the Giants and the host San Diego Padres at Petco Park have been postponed out of an abundance of caution and to allow for additional testing and contact tracing to be conducted," MLB said in a statement Friday night. "Major League Baseball will continue to provide updates as necessary."

The Giants and Padres were getting set for the second of four games at Petco Park this weekend, but moments before the first pitch, players from both teams were told to stop warming up. Giants general manager Scott Harris came out to talk to manager Gabe Kapler, who quickly went through the dugout and out to the bullpen to tell players that the game had been postponed. 

 

Most of the Giants gathered along the third base line, sitting on the field or leaning against railings, as they waited for more information. The Padres spread out in the seats behind their dugout. Players started to leave the ballpark in street clothes shortly after the official announcement of the postponement. 

The Giants had not had a positive COVID-19 test since July 6, when they were finishing intake testing for summer camp at Oracle Park. They made it through summer camp and 45 games without issue, and have not even had a positive at their alternate site in Sacramento. 

Now, they're dealing with the same issue that has shut down several other MLB teams already. The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals had outbreaks earlier this season, throwing the entire MLB schedule out of whack for weeks. More recently, the Oakland A's had right-hander Daniel Mengden test positive. They were shut down for five days, postponing four games. 

It's unclear what's next for the Giants, as team officials said they would wait to address the media until Saturday, when more information was available. The Padres do come to Oracle Park the final weekend of the season, but it seems unlikely that either team will want to play three consecutive doubleheaders right before the start of the postseason. 

There is one other option, which sounds crazy at first but might be the most realistic one in an unprecedented season. The Giants are likely to be held out of games until at least Tuesday, when they visit the Seattle Mariners for a two-game series. The Giants, Mariners and Padres are all off Thursday, and the Padres start a series in Seattle on Friday. If the coronavirus was limited to just one Giant and they are soon allowed to resume their season, they could play a doubleheader against the Padres in Seattle on Thursday.