NEW YORK (AP/KDKA) — Shortened season, shorter games.

Big league doubleheaders will now become a pair of seven-inning games, baseball’s latest radical rule change during a season reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic.

Major League Baseball and the players’ union reached agreement Thursday on the new twinbills, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.

ESPN first reported the doubleheader deal.

Baseball is filled with examples going back more than 100 years of major league games being shortened on the fly because of weather, darkness or a team’s travel schedule. But this is believed to be the first mandate across the sport to play games shorter than nine innings.

A rule still to be decided, as a result of the abbreviated games: Can a starting pitcher who throws four innings get credit for a win?

MLB had already added designated hitters to National League games this year and added an automatic runner at second base to start all half-innings in extras. The free runner will take his spot in doubleheader games that are tied after the seventh.

The Cleveland Indians swept the Chicago White Sox earlier this week in the first doubleheader of the season. The new rule goes into effect Saturday for the rest of the season — the Toronto Blue Jays had been scheduled to play a twinbill in Philadelphia that day, but it was scrapped after two Phillies staffers tested positive for the virus.

There are no doubleheaders currently scheduled for the Pirates or any other teams, although the Chicago Cubs and the Reds will try to figure out a way to make up Thursday night’s rainout in Cincinnati.

With a compressed 60-game schedule that includes few days off, there’s a good chance some weather-created doubleheaders will be necessary. The shortened games will be a way for clubs to conserve their pitching resources.

Seven-inning doubleheaders have been commonplace for years in the minor leagues and college.

Major league players, owners and general managers had discussed this week the possibility of shortening doubleheaders.

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