Dodgers' Justin Turner Pulled from Game 6 Due to Positive COVID-19 Test

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorOctober 28, 2020

Tampa Bay Rays' Manuel Margot is safe at third past Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner after a Los Angeles Dodgers fielding error by Chris Taylor during the fourth inning in Game 5 of the baseball World Series Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled third baseman Justin Turner from the lineup during their World Series-winning victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Fox Sports studio host Kevin Burkhardt led the postgame broadcast by breaking the news:

ESPN's Jeff Passan also confirmed the report on Turner, who was lifted before the top of the eighth inning for Enrique Hernandez.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported Turner had tested positive twice, that he did not receive a "false positive," and that he was asked not to join the Dodgers on the field, but Turner and the team insisted, per ESPN's Sarah Spain

Rosenthal added a clarification on Twitter afterward:

"One correction to what I said on FS1 about Turner timeline," Rosenthal wrote.

"First result, on the test from yesterday, came back in the second inning, not in the afternoon. His test from earlier today was then expedited, and when it came back positive, he was removed from the game."

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Turner went hitless in three at-bats and played seven innings in the field during the Dodgers' 3-1 win Tuesday. L.A. defeated Tampa Bay four games to two in the best-of-seven series.

After the game, Turner posted a tweet thanking those who reached out and updating his health status:

A masked Turner went back on the field, held the trophy and celebrated with his teammates. He also removed his mask for a team picture:

Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts explained the team's thought process in having Turner on the field, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register:

There were far more questions than answers immediately after the news broke, with Aaron Rupar of Vox and Maria Martin of 11Alive News in Atlanta positing a few:

Tim Healey of Newsday also painted a strange postgame picture:

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a postgame interview with Fox Sports' Tom Verducci that the league was informed of the positive test during the game.

Passan tried to provide some answers regarding the testing process, why Turner wasn't informed before the game and what's next for the Dodgers:

Lindsay Jones of The Athletic and Will Brinson of CBS Sports questioned why MLB wouldn't be able to get test results in advance of Game 6, and ex-MLB pitcher Dan Haren noted that the results have been coming in around 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. PT from the previous day:

Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Turner was the first MLB player to test positive for COVID-19 in six weeks.

The MLB moved to a de facto bubble format for the playoffs beginning in early October, with teams playing in neutral locations and required to restrict movements to the field, hotel or traveling in between. The World Series was played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.