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Reds, Tigers will make history Sunday in doubleheader

Reds players react after a home run by Mike Moustakas on Opening Day against the Tigers on Friday, July 24, 2020, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Reds players react after a home run by Mike Moustakas on Opening Day against the Tigers on Friday, July 24, 2020, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

The Cincinnati Reds were baseball’s first professional team. They played the first night game in big-league history in 1935. On Sunday, they will make more history.

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The Reds and Detroit Tigers will play the first scheduled doubleheader including two games of fewer than nine innings on Sunday. They will play two seven-inning games. That’s one of the changes baseball has made to help teams make up postponed games during the pandemic-shortened 60-game seasons.

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The Reds and Tigers play the first game at 12:10 p.m. The second game will follow at 3:40 p.m.

The Reds (2-5) were rained out Saturday. It was their second rainout in three days. Their series finale against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday was also postponed by rain.

The doubleheader rule was created Friday and went into affect Saturday. The Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies and a number of other teams have had games postponed because of positive COVID-19 tests and will have to play a number of doubleheaders before the season ends Sept. 29.

Here is the new doubleheader rule for 2020 from Major League Baseball:

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Official Baseball Rule 7.01(a) (“Regulation Games”), a regulation game in both games of a double-header shall consist of seven innings, unless extended because of a tie score. In this respect, the “Extra Innings” rule contained in Section 5.1.2 of the 2020 Operations Manual shall apply to each half-inning following the completion of the seventh inning.

Please note that OBR 7.01(c) shall still apply, such that if a game is called, it is a regulation game (1) if five innings have been completed; (2) if the home team has scored more runs in four or four and a fraction half-innings than the visiting team has scored in five completed half-innings; or (3) if the home team scores one or more runs in its half of the fifth inning to tie the score.