Average MLB game time back over 3 hours in 1st week

FILE - In this April 10, 2016, file photo, San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto is examined by home plate umpire Alan Porter, left, and manager Bruce Bochy in the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in San Francisco. Major League Baseballs average game time slowed during the first week of the season and was back over 3 hours. There were slight changes in the pace rules this year, cutting the timer for between-inning breaks by 20 seconds and adding a 30-second timer for visits to the mound by managers and pitching coaches. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
AP

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Baseball's average game time has slowed during the first week of the season and was back over 3 hours.

The average time of a nine-inning game was 3:04 through the first 79 games of this season, according to STATS. That is up 8 minutes from a 2:56 average for the first 79 games last year.

MLB introduced new pace-of-game initiatives last season, and the average time dropped from 3:03 during the first full week in 2014.

There were slight changes in the pace rules this year, cutting the timer for between-inning breaks by 20 seconds and adding a 30-second timer for visits to the mound by managers and pitching coaches.

Last year's final average was 2:56, down 6 minutes.