Twins, Indians To Play In San Juan Next Spring

NEW YORK (AP) — The Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins will play a two-game series at San Juan on April 17-18, Major League Baseball’s first regular-season games in Puerto Rico since 2010.

The commissioner’s office announced the matchups Wednesday. The Twins will be the home team.

“We think the weather probably will be better in Puerto Rico than here in April,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said, “so it will be an exciting trip for all who get to take part.”

Last year, concerns about the Zika virus prompted MLB to move a two-game series between Pittsburgh and the Marlins out Puerto Rico. The games were eventually played in Miami.

MLB played regular-season games in Puerto Rico in 2001, when Texas and Toronto opened the season there. The Montreal Expos moved home games to San Juan’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium in 2003 and 2004.

“When the Montreal Expos played in Puerto Rico, I remember going to those games and thinking to myself: I would love to be here playing in front of my country and people,” said Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor, an All-Star shortstop who was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. “Now that we have the opportunity next April, it is a dream realized for me. These will be the most memorable regular-season games of my career, for sure.”

With starting pitcher Jose Berrios, left fielder Eddie Rosario and designated hitter Kennys Vargas, the Twins have three Puerto Ricans on their roster. Vargas wore a wide smile in the clubhouse Wednesday before the Twins played Chicago.

“For our people, our families, I’m really excited for them,” Vargas said.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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