Scott Downs to undergo MRI on right ankle

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Scott Downs left this afternoon’s game against the Twins after having his foot stepped on by Denard Span while covering first base in the seventh inning. If you want to be thoroughly grossed out, watch a GIF of the play over at Getting Blanked. Hope you aren’t eating dinner right now.

The initial diagnosis from the team was a right ankle contusion and Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports that X-rays “didn’t really show anything.” Still, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com notes that he was walking with the help of crutches after the game and will undergo an MRI when the team gets to New York. It wouldn’t be surprising if a DL-stint is in his future.

Downs, 36, has tossed two scoreless innings this season after posting a 1.34 ERA and 35/15 K/BB ratio over 53 2/3 innings in 2011. He’ll return to a set-up role once he’s back to full health.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.