Yankees game vs. Red Sox postponed following positive COVID-19 tests, per reports

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The New York Yankees were scheduled to kick off the second half of Major League Baseball’s regular season on Thursday night by hosting the Boston Red Sox. Instead, MLB has postponed the game because of the Yankees’ latest round of COVID-19 issues. Here’s the league’s official statement:

Following positive COVID-19 tests within the New York Yankees organization, tonight’s game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium has been postponed to allow for continued testing and contact tracing. Major League Baseball will continue to provide scheduling updates as available.

The Yankees had been forced to scrap batting practice as they adhered to the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol following a pair of positive tests, according to’s Marly Rivera. Rivera added that the Yankees are undergoing additional testing ahead of Thursday’s game. It’s unclear if the results of additional testing are what caused the postponement. 

The Yankees had made a number of roster moves prior to the game, placing pitchers Nestor Cortes Jr. and Wandy Peralta on the COVID-19 injured list because of health and safety protocols. (The Yankees also reinstated reliever Zack Britton from the 10-day injured list. Britton had been out since late June after suffering a strained hamstring.)

The Yankees were reportedly one of the first teams to clear the vaccine threshold (85 percent of tier-1 individuals) that allows for looser adherence to MLB’s protocols. This is their second instance of positive tests since, with several coaches having to miss time in May following so-called “breakthrough infections.” As experts have since explained, the purpose of a vaccination is to reduce the severity of the infection rather than eliminate the possibility altogether; from that perspective, the COVID-19 vaccines worked as intended, with nearly all of those cases being asymptomatic in nature.

Thursday was supposed to mark the beginning of a pivotal stretch for the Yankees, who entered the second half stationed in fourth place in the American League East, some eight games behind the Red Sox. The Yankees are slated to play the Red Sox and the second-place Tampa Bay Rays a combined 11 times ahead of MLB’s July 30 trade deadline. The results of those contests — and keep in mind, the Yankees are 5-14 against those teams so far this season — will likely dictate whether New York is aggressive at the deadline.

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