The Latest: Rizzo, Miami honor Parkland shooting victims

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The Latest: Rizzo, Miami honor Parkland shooting victims
Fans wait outside the ballpark for the gates to open prior to an opening day baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Miami Marlins, Thursday March 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas)

The Latest on baseball’s opening day (all times Eastern):

11:40 a.m.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo says the opening series of the season at Miami will be emotional for him as both teams honor victims of last month’s mass shooting at his former high school in Parkland, Florida.

The Cubs and Marlins are wearing patches with the initials “MSD” and 17 stars to honor the number of lives lost in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A large replica of the patch will be on the outfield wall at Marlins Park all season. Rizzo plans to host four families of victims of the shooting at Friday’s game.

Speaking before the opener, Rizzo praised as “amazing” the activism by students at the school in the wake of the tragedy. He says the students are holding politicians accountable, and the entire nation is rallying behind them. When asked about accusations the students are actually actors, Rizzo said those making such allegations are “losers.”

Rizzo says he attended a Stoneman Douglas baseball game Tuesday night and was motivated by their 15-0 victory.

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11:30 a.m.

Rain was the early winner on opening day, with games at Comerica Park and Great American Ball Park postponed and gloomy skies threatening another at Citi Field.

All 30 teams in the majors had been scheduled to play Thursday. Jose Urena was set to throw the first pitch of the season, when Miami hosted the Chicago Cubs.

The Pittsburgh-Detroit game was washed out, as was the Washington-Cincinnati opener.

No weather worries in Toronto, where New York newcomer Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and the power-packed Yankees were facing the Blue Jays. J.D. Martinez was ready to make his debut when the Boston Red Sox took on Tampa Bay.

Justin Verlander and the World Series champion Houston Astros were at Texas, and lefty ace Clayton Kershaw led Los Angeles against San Francisco — provided the sewage problems that seeped into Dodger Stadium this week stayed away.

It was a somber setting in New York as the Mets prepared to host St. Louis on a rainy day. Hours earlier, the team announced that popular Mets star Rusty Staub had died at 73.