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7-inning doubleheaders debut in MLB, Reds top Tigers 4-3

The start of the game was delayed more than two hours because of rain.
Credit: AP
Detroit Tigers pitcher Tyler Alexander throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the fourth inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader in Detroit, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT — In the opener of the first seven-inning doubleheader in Major League Baseball history, Shogo Akiyama hit an RBI single in the seventh that sent the Cincinnati Reds over the Detroit Tigers 4-3.

It was strange from the start, with the scoreboard at Comerica Park listing nine innings instead of the usual seven.

There was no seventh-inning stretch — or even fifth-inning break — in a game that took 2 hours, 25 minutes. The start of the game was delayed more than two hours because of rain.

MLB recently decided to use doubleheaders of seven-inning games, which have been commonplace in the minor leagues and colleges, to help teams alleviate an expected crush of twinbills caused by weather and coronavirus-related postponements. 

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