The coronavirus-hit St. Louis Cardinals, who have played only five games in three weeks since the Major League Baseball season began, are set to return to the field Saturday.
MLB announced an updated Cardinals schedule filled with double-headers on Friday in hopes the 2-3 National League club might manage to play 55 more contests over the last 44 days of a campaign postponed by COVID-19.
The Cardinals had positive tests by 10 players and eight staff members and haven't played since a 3-0 loss on July 29 at Minnesota.
Some teams will have played 21 games, more than a third of their entire season schedule, before St. Louis returns to competition.
Together with the Miami Marlins, the teams suffered massive outbreaks in the opening days of a season shrunk from 162 games per club to 60.
The Cardinals will return Saturday with a double-header at the Chicago White Sox.
A three-game Cardinals home series against the Chicago Cubs that was to have been played last weekend will be played as games that are now double-headers in Chicago on August 17, August 19 and September 5.
A series planned for this past Monday-Wednesday at Pittsburgh will be played as part of a double-header in St. Louis on August 27, a former off day for both clubs, and another on September 18 in Pittsburgh.
The Cardinals will now play a home double-header against Minnesota on September 8 so they can have an off day on September 9.
That still leaves the Cardinals two games against Detroit that had been planned for August 13 that are yet to be rescheduled.
The strain upon the Cardinals' pitching staff will be slightly eased by the fact MLB has approved all games in double-headers be played to a regulation seven innings instead of the usual nine.