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Two Indians pitchers break COVID-19 protocol; Cardinals-Tigers series suspended

Two Indians pitchers break COVID-19 protocol; Cardinals-Tigers series suspended
Cleveland Indians pitcher Mike Clevinger will miss his start Tuesday after he violated MLB and team coronavirus safety protocols. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Two Cleveland Indians pitchers will miss time due to violations of league and team pandemic protocols, while the St. Louis Cardinals have yet to play in August due to a coronavirus outbreak on the team.

Sources told ESPN, MLB Network and The Athletic that Mike Clevinger went out with fellow Indians starting pitcher Zach Plesac in Chicago on Saturday and violated the protocols.

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The Indians said they learned of Clevinger's violation Monday. The team sent Plesac back to Cleveland on Sunday after they learned he violated the protocols by leaving the team hotel.

"The Cleveland Indians will continue to keep the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff members as a top priority," the Indians said.

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Clevinger will miss a scheduled start on Tuesday when the Indians host the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Right-handed pitcher Adam Plutko will start in his place.

The Indians said Clevinger has been instructed to quarantine and will undergo testing while he is away from the team. He met with the team before he flew back to Cleveland with his teammates, while Plesac traveled back separately.

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Plesac issued an apology on Sunday while Clevinger has not commented on his violation of protocols.

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"I understand that in these times of uncertainty, I need to be more vigilant and responsible," Plesac said. "I am determined to earn my teammates' forgiveness and get back to work."

Plesac, 25, is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts this season. Clevinger is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA in three starts.

The Indians (10-7) split a two-game series against the Chicago White Sox Friday and Saturday in Chicago.

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They are to host the Cubs in the first game of another two-game series at 7:10 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Progressive Field. The Indians have won four out of their last five games and are in third place in the American League Central division.

The Indians have not had a game postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic since the season began, while the Cardinals have had major disruptions of their schedule.

Cardinals doubleheader postponed

The Cardinals haven't played since July 29 due to a coronavirus outbreak, which has included at least 10 players and seven staff members who have tested positive.

On Monday, MLB announced the team's doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers -- scheduled for Thursday -- also has been postponed. The doubleheader had been created to make up for previously postponed games.

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"MLB and the [Cardinals] believe it is prudent to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play," MLB said. "More information regarding the Cardinals' resumption of play will be announced later in the week."

MLB announced Friday that the Cardinals' series against the Cubs was postponed after a Cardinals staff member and two players tested positive for COVID-19 from samples collected on Wednesday and Thursday.

MLB said Sunday that the Cardinals' Monday through Wednesday series against the Pittsburgh Pirates also was postponed to conduct additional testing while players and staff are quarantined.

The Cardinals are scheduled to face the Chicago White Sox in the first clash of a three-game series at 8:10 p.m. EDT Friday in Chicago. That game was initially scheduled for Thursday, but could be postponed again if the Cardinals continue to return positive test results.

The Cardinals have had 13 games postponed due to the pandemic since the season started, more than any other MLB team. The Marlins Marlins had 10 games postponed due to team outbreak, but returned Aug. 4 after they stopped their season July 26.

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole pitches against the Boston Red Sox in New York City on Friday. Photo by Corey Sipkin/UPI | License Photo

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