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Phillies-Braves and Brewers-Mets openers postponed a day to Friday due to rainy forecasts

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball openers in New York and Philadelphia were postponed a day until Friday because of rainy forecasts in both cities.

Pete Alonso and the New York Mets were scheduled to host the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday afternoon, a day featuring the first full slate of major league games this year. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres started the season with a two-game series in Seoul, South Korea, last week.

But with wet weather expected much of Thursday in Queens, the Mets announced Wednesday the game was pushed back to Friday at 1:40 p.m.

Minutes later, the Philadelphia Phillies announced their sold-out opener against the NL East rival Atlanta Braves was moved from Thursday at 3:05 p.m. to Friday at the same time due to anticipated rain.

“I’d rather play when it’s safe for the guys, obviously,” new Milwaukee manager Pat Murphy said. “Our pitching is a moving target a little bit, you know what I mean? So it’s nicer to have those off days in between, to be honest. But you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.”

New York and Milwaukee both worked out Wednesday under a cloudy sky at Citi Field.

“Obviously, everybody's anxious to get going," Murphy said. "But it's a six-month season and guys that, our leaders that know better, that have been around — even though there's only a few of 'em — it's all part of it. They understand it.”

Murphy took over the defending NL Central champions after manager Craig Counsell bolted for the rival Chicago Cubs during the offseason.

New York turns to first-timer Carlos Mendoza — the former Yankees bench coach was hired to replace Buck Showalter by new president of baseball operations David Stearns, who used to run the Brewers after growing up a Mets fan in New York City.

“It’s getting real,” Mendoza said Wednesday before the opener was postponed. “There will be a lot of emotions and I'm really looking forward to it."

After trading No. 1 starter Corbin Burnes, a three-time All-Star and the 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner, Milwaukee gives Freddy Peralta his first career opening-day start.

Jose Quintana goes for the Mets, minus 2023 NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Kodai Senga because of a shoulder strain. Senga recently began playing catch again, but he's not expected back until at least late April or May — possibly longer.

Quintana, born in Colombia, just became an American citizen last week.

“I’d rather have it be a nicer day than opening in weather that you have to get pitchers up and then lose pitchers because of the weather,” the 65-year-old Murphy said. “How it affects me is not important. And anxiousness? Nah, I’m too old to be anxious.”

When the Phillies and Braves play Friday, right-handers Zack Wheeler and Spencer Strider will square off in a juicy NL East matchup.

Reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. and the Braves finished 14 games ahead of Philadelphia each of the past two years. But the Phillies ended Atlanta’s postseason in Game 4 of a Division Series at Citizens Bank Park both times.

BREWERS UPDATE

Milwaukee left-hander Wade Miley faced teammates taking simulated at-bats at Citi Field. Miley will open on the injured list after being slowed this spring by shoulder soreness and a groin problem. He is aiming to make his season debut during an April 8-11 series in Cincinnati.

METS UPDATE

Veteran slugger J.D. Martinez, signed late in spring training, stayed back at the team's complex in Florida when New York broke camp. The 36-year-old designated hitter is taking simulated at-bats against his new teammates and running the bases as he works his way into game shape.

He'll remain in Port St. Lucie, Florida, for at least a week to 10 days, Mendoza said, before Martinez and the team determine the next step. He isn't expected to make his Mets debut until at least April 7.

“When we get him, it's going to be a lot deeper lineup,” Mendoza said.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB