The Baltimore Orioles announced several changes Tuesday to their upcoming home-game schedule because of safety concerns stemming from violent clashes between rioters and police in the city.
After postponing the first two games of a three-game series against the visiting Chicago White Sox, the Orioles announced that Wednesday’s series finale will be closed to the general public. The game, scheduled to start at 11:05 a.m. PDT, will still be televised.
The Monday and Tuesday games will be made up as part of a May 28 doubleheader.
The Orioles also said the team’s weekend home series against the Tampa Bay Rays will not take place at Camden Yards. Instead, officials said, the three-game series, which is set to open Friday, will take place at the Rays’ home, Tropicana Field. The Orioles will be listed as the official home team for the weekend series.
According to John Thorn, MLB’s official historian, Wednesday’s contest will be the first game closed to the public in baseball history. Subsequently, the game also will set a major league record for lowest attendance.
The announcements come after riots broke out near the Camden Yards. The decision to postpone and reschedule the games was made after Orioles officials consulted with Major League Baseball and city officials, the team said. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has issued a citywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. EDT that ends Monday.
In the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, who died April 19 after suffering a severe spinal injury while in police custody, rioters threw rocks and other debris at Baltimore police near the stadium on Monday.
Since the violence started, 20 police officers have been injured and more than 200 people have been arrested, authorities said. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency Monday and has called in the National Guard to maintain order.