Fans at Camden Yards, Dodger Stadium and Safeco Field might need to bring a few extra screens to the ballpark on the final day of the season.

Major League Baseball is tweaking this year's schedule, hoping to create a huge playoff scramble by starting all 15 games on Oct. 4 at virtually the same time.

"Could add some drama," Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams said before Friday's exhibition against Houston.

Might make for tough choices, too.

If the Mariners hold a one-game lead over Toronto for the second AL wild-card spot, do they start Felix Hernandez at home vs. Oakland or hold him for the playoff opener? They won't be able to wait to see how the Blue Jays do at Tampa Bay.

Another result — split attention spans. Try watching the field, the scoreboard, a smartphone and another mobile device, all at once.

"It might build the suspense," Houston catcher Jason Castro said.

MLB Chief Operating Officer Tony Petitti said every game will begin shortly after 2 p.m. Central time. The original schedule announced in January had games in Baltimore, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia starting about a half-hour later than the rest.

The plan, the latest innovation under new Commissioner Rob Manfred, was spurred by the last-day chase in 2011 when four teams dueled for two wild-card spots. Tampa Bay and St. Louis got in, Boston and Atlanta were eliminated.

"The idea originally came from remembering that great night that we had on a Wednesday ... all those games in progress at the same time, coming down to a great dramatic finish," Petitti said.


• Outfielder Adam Eaton and the White Sox agreed to a $23.5 million, five-year contract.

•Outfielder Franklin Gutierrez was among 11 players assigned to minor league spring training camp by the Mariners.

•Cubs pitcher Jon Lester will miss his scheduled start Saturday because of arm fatigue.

•Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler will have Tommy John surgery early next week and is expecting a 14-month rehabilitation, a schedule that would put him back in the majors in June 2016.