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09/30/10 10:01 AM ET

World Series schedule features earlier Game 3

As the final touches are being put on this year's postseason field, Major League Baseball and FOX on Thursday announced the start times for the 2010 World Series -- including the earliest first pitch for a Fall Classic in nearly a quarter-century.

Game 3 is scheduled to start at 6:57 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 30 -- at either Target Field, Rangers Ballpark, Tropicana Field or Yankee Stadium, as the American League team will be the host. The remaining World Series games are scheduled for first pitch to take place at 7:57 p.m. ET with the exception of Game 4, which will take place following the conclusion of the NFL on FOX, as in years past.

The World Series schedule. All times ET:
1 Wed., Oct. 27 NL 7:57 p.m.
2 Thu., Oct. 28 NL 7:57 p.m.
3 Sat., Oct. 30 AL 6:57 p.m.
4 Sun., Oct. 31 AL 8:20 p.m.
5 Mon., Nov. 1 AL 7:57 p.m.
6 Wed., Nov. 3 NL 7:57 p.m.
7 Thu., Nov. 4 NL 7:57 p.m.

The 6:57 start time for Game 3 will be the earliest start to a World Series game since Game 6 of the 1987 World Series -- a game the Twins won at home against the Cardinals on their way to the title a night later. This one will be an hour earlier than the scheduled start time of the 2009 World Series game that was played on a Saturday.

"I am extremely pleased we are able to provide our fans the earliest World Series start time since 1987 with Saturday's Game 3," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "The changes we made with FOX last year to start the World Series games earlier helped increase viewership, including more young fans, and we are optimistic that the earlier start time for Saturday's Game 3 will keep us moving in the same direction."

Key to the earlier scheduled start time for Game 3 is an additional level of advertising support from Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball and a perennial sponsor of MLB on FOX.

"Starting the game earlier will allow more families to watch together," said Chris Perry, vice president of U.S. marketing for Chevrolet. "This fits perfectly with our commitment to baseball, which stretches from youth teams across the country to MLB."

The National League will have home-field advantage in this World Series by virtue of its victory in the All-Star Game at Anaheim, so Games 1 and 2 will be in an NL park, Games 3, 4 and if necessary, 5, will be in an AL park, and Games 6 and 7, if necessary, will be at the NL park.

The Phillies and Reds have clinched spots in the NL, and the remaining berths will go to two clubs from among the Giants, Padres and Braves.

Last year's World Series was the highest rated since 2004, according to Nielsen ratings. An average of more than 19 million U.S. viewers watched the six games of the 2009 World Series between the Phillies and Yankees, the most since an average of 25.4 million people saw the Red Sox sweep the Cardinals in 2004.

This is a continuation of changes to World Series scheduling that makes the long-loved event more suitable for fans at the games and watching live broadcasts. Thursday's announcement came two weeks after MLB released its tentative 2011 regular season schedule -- with Opening Day occurring earlier than in the past to ensure the World Series begins sooner and will be completed within the month of October.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Follow @MLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.