Padres-Mariners series moved to San Diego over smoke concerns


SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres will play this week’s series with the Seattle Mariners at home, after heavy smoke in Seattle from nearby wildfires proved unsafe for players.

Images from a recent series between the Mariners and Oakland Athletics showed the severity of the air quality concerns in the region, with stadium lights filtering through the smoky stadium and players in the outfield appearing on camera through a haze.

So instead of playing their three-game set in Seattle, the teams will head for Petco Park and face-off from Sept. 18 through Sept. 20, the Padres said in a statement. Friday’s game will start at 6:40 p.m., Saturday’s at 6:10 p.m., and Sunday’s at 1:10 p.m.

The Mariners will still serve as the “home team,” meaning they’ll pitch in the top of innings and bat in the bottom.

It’s another in a series of schedule changes for the red-hot Padres this season, including postponements due to positive COVID-19 tests and racial justice protests.

The team is closing in on its first playoff spot since 2006, currently sitting three games behind the first-place Dodgers in the National League West, but leading by several games in the NL Wild Card race as of Thursday.

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