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Hurricane Irene batters weekend MLB schedule

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A number of Major League Baseball games have been postponed over the weekend as Hurricane Irene moves ominously over the east cost of the United States, it was announced on Friday.

The New York Mets were scheduled to host to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday and Sunday, but precautions being taken in New York City forced those games to be rescheduled for next month.

The Mets and Braves will now face off in a doubleheader on September 8.

Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox will now play a doubleheader against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday after canceling their Sunday home game.

The storm is expected to reach the Boston area on Saturday night, and the Red Sox are hoping to have wrapped up their doubleheader by then.

Boston (80-51) will be looking to extend their one-game lead over the New York Yankees (78-51) in the AL East race and now have a chance to pull clear of their rivals after the Yankees' Saturday doubleheader in Baltimore was also postponed.

The Yankees are now scheduled to play the Orioles in a doubleheader on Sunday with a makeup game set for September 8.

The Major League-leading Philadelphia Phillies (83-46) have also been caught in the eye of the storm.

They were due to play a doubleheader against the Florida Marlins in Philadelphia on Saturday but will now play only one early game with the second contest rescheduled for September 15.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)

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