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MLB moves games from Puerto Rico to Miami due to Zika virus concerns

FILE - This Feb. 6, 2015, file photo,

FILE - This Feb. 6, 2015, file photo, shows Hiram Bithorn Stadium as Puerto Rico plays the Dominican Republic at the Caribbean Series baseball tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Baseball has scrapped a series in Puerto Rico between the Pirates and Marlins amid concerns over the Zika virus. Major League Baseball and the players' union made the announcement Friday, May 6, 2016. The two games scheduled for San Juan on May 30-31 will instead be played in Miami. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo, File) Credit: AP

NEW YORK — Zika virus concerns have forced the Pirates-Marlins series out of Puerto Rico, with baseball saying the two games will instead be played this month in Miami.

Major League Baseball and the players’ union made the announcement Friday. Pittsburgh and Miami will meet May 30-31 at Marlins Park.

The union had asked Commissioner Rob Manfred to relocate the games after several players expressed fears about getting and possibly transmitting the Zika virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said Zika can cause a birth defect called microcephaly, where infants are born with unusually small heads. The virus is most often spread by mosquito bites, but it also can be spread through sexual intercourse.

The CDC had spoken to players and staff from the Pirates and Marlins about the potential risks.

Pittsburgh and the Marlins were originally scheduled to play the series in Miami when the original draft of the schedule was made last year. On Nov. 19, MLB said the games would be played in Puerto Rico, the homeland of Pirates Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente and many other big leaguers.

MLB has played several regular-season games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan in the past.

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