Hurricane forces Phillies doubleheader

The Philadelphia Phillies have rescheduled Sunday’s game against the Florida Marlins due to the threat posed by Hurricane Irene, the club announced Thursday.

The game was moved to Saturday, setting up a doubleheader in the hopes the teams can finish their three-game series before Irene overtakes the region.

Irene continued to pummel the Bahamas Thursday as it bore down on the US East Coast, prompting evacuations and emergency preparations as it threatened to strengthen into a Category 4 storm.

Approximately 200,000 people were ordered to evacuate from the Atlantic Coast of North Carolina with tourists barred from most of the beach towns of the Outer Banks ahead of the storm’s anticipated Saturday arrival, according to The Raleigh News & Observer.

The hurricane could impact several weekend games, with Red Sox manager Terry Francona saying Wednesday his team was considering a similar move for Boston’s home series against the Oakland A’s.

The Yankees, currently in Baltimore, are already slated to play a doubleheader Saturday against the Orioles with the fourth game of a five-game series scheduled for Sunday.

The New York Mets are at home this weekend for a series against the Atlanta Braves, with the series’ final game scheduled for Sunday, the same day Irene is expected to hit the region.

The New Haven Open, which was forced to evacuate earlier this week when an earthquake swayed the Connecticut Tennis Center Stadium, has moved up its championship match in an effort to avoid problems with Hurricane Irene.

Officials at the final WTA tuneup before next week’s US Open announced Thursday that the single’s championship would move from 5 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday in advance of the storm, which is expected to hit on Sunday morning.

US Open officials are also said to be working on contingency plans for the storm.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.