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

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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.