MLB

Average time of MLB game slips back under 3 hours

BALTIMORE - JUNE 04: First baseman Kevin Millar #15 and second baseman Brian Roberts #1 of the Baltimore Orioles chat as they await a pitching change against the New York Yankees as the Orioles defeated the Yankees 11-4 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 4, 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE - JUNE 04: First baseman Kevin Millar #15 and second baseman Brian Roberts #1 of the Baltimore Orioles chat as they await a pitching change against the New York Yankees as the Orioles defeated the Yankees 11-4 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 4, 2006 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball has managed to cut six minutes from the average time of a nine-inning game this season, when it adopted some speedup rules.

STATS said Monday that the season average ended at 2 hours, 56 minutes. While the average dropped to 2:53 in the first half of the season, it was back at 3:00 after the All-Star break.

MLB and the players' association agreed this year to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter's box in many cases, and they also agreed to post stadium clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks.

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Triple-A and Double-A leagues, the highest levels of the minors, used 20-second pitch clocks and started penalizing violators with balls and strikes. At Triple-A, the International League average dropped 16 minutes to 2:40 and the Pacific Coast League fell 13 minutes to 2:45.