And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Rays 10, Marlins 6: Two three-run homers for Kelly Johnson. He also singled, doubled and stole a base. He has 24 RBI in 21 games in May. Six straight losses for the Marlins despite what was, for them anyway, an offensive outburst.

Tigers 6, Pirates 5: While it was his second win in a row this one was way better, personally speaking, for Justin Verlander. Thirteen strikeouts and three runs over seven innings.

Orioles 6, Nationals 2: Fifteen hits for the O’s and a nice start for Jason Hammel in the first of a weird, four-game home-and-home series in four days for Baltimore and Washington. Davey Johnson vowed not to shave until the Nats’ bats “came alive.” At this rate he’s going to look like Billy Gibbons before it’s all over.

Astros 3, Rockies 2: A walkoff ground rule double for Brandon Barnes in the 12th. The Rockies stranded 15 runners in this one. That’s, like, more than two Gilligan’s Islands worth of castaways.

Reds 4, Indians 2: Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth off Nick Hagadone, who was just called up from Columbus. Shoulda stayed here in Columbus, man. It’s so much safer here.

Cardinals 6, Royals 3: Yadier Molina homered and drove in four. Meanwhile, Adam Wainwright scattered 12 hits over eight innings. If you can call 12 in 8 a “scattering” as opposed to the Royals simply squandering multiple opportunities.

Twins 6, Brewers 3: Joe Mauer hit a homer that was reviewed and upheld on replay for the second time in three days. He’s just not a big fan of the human element.

Athletics 4, Giants 1: Dan Straily with his second straight strong start, allowing one run over six innings. Madison Bumgarner was shaky. Four in a row for the A’s.

Diamondbacks 5, Rangers 3Diamondbacks 5, Rangers 4: Tyler Skaggs struck out nine in six innings in the first one. Yu Darvish strikes out 14 in seven and two-thirds in the nightcap. The difference: Skaggs won his start while Darvish got the no-decision thanks to a ninth inning RBI single by Cliff Pennington.

Mariners 9, Padres 0: Aaron Harang with a four-hit shutout and his best start in four years. Not that he needed it thanks to the M’s bats. Homers from Jason Bay and Michael Morse, among other destruction.

Mets 2, Yankees 1: A rare late-innings failure for the Yankees bullpen. Not that they had a huge margin for error, but still. Daniel Murphy with an RBI single to center off Dave Robertson in the eighth. It was the first time in 23 games the Yankees lost when leading after six.

Blue Jays 9, Braves 3: Five driven in for Edwin Encarnacion. Rookie reliever Cory Rasmus got mop-up duty for Atlanta and gave up an RBI double to his brother Colby. Which wasn’t very nice. Not all good for Toronto, though, as Brett Lawrie left with a sprained ankle.

Cubs 7, White Sox 0: Jeff Samardzija with a two-hit shutout. And like Harang’s gem, he didn’t have to do it given what the bats did. Two RBI a piece for Julio Borbon, Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano.

Red Sox 9, Phillies 3: Tyler Cloyd couldn’t make it out of the third inning and Alfredo Aceves didn’t stink for once. The Sox have won 10 of 13 and have taken sole possession of first in the east.

Dodgers 8, Angels 7: The eight-game winning streak is over. Not that the Dodgers made it easy on themselves. The Dodgers were down 6-1, thanks in part to numerous defensive miscues early — many not called errors — which helped Anaheim build their lead. Adrian Gonzalez remains hot. Even Juan Uribe got into the act, going 3 for 3 after coming in late as a pinch hitter.

Neal Huntington thinks players should be allowed to re-enter games after concussion testing

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Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli, who has suffered many concussions throughout his 12-year career, was hit on the back of the helmet on a Joc Pederson backswing Saturday against the Dodgers. Through Cervelli remained in the game initially, he took himself out of the game shortly thereafter and went on the seven-day concussion injured list on Sunday.

Perhaps inspired by Saturday’s event, Pirates GM Neal Huntington suggested that players should be allowed to re-enter games once they have passed concussion tests, the Associated Press reports. Huntington said, “Any player that had an obvious concussion risk incident should be allowed to be removed from the game, taken off the field, taken into the locker room, assessed by a doctor, assessed by a trainer, go through an extended period of time and then re-enter the game. Because right now, all of this has to happen on the field.”

Huntington added, “The player has to feel pressure as he’s standing there with 30,000 or 10,000 or 50,000 eyes on him. He has to feel pressure to make a decision whether (he’s) in or (he’s) out of this game. He knows if he takes himself out and he’s the catcher, there’s only one other catcher, and the game becomes a fiasco if that other catcher gets hurt.”

Huntington, who has been forward-thinking on a number of other issues, has it wrong here. The concussion protocols were created because players frequently hid or under-reported their injuries in order to remain in the game. Especially for younger or otherwise less-proven players, there is pressure to have to constantly perform in order to keep one’s job. Furthermore, there is an overarching sentiment across sports that taking time off due to injury makes one weak. Similarly, playing while injured is seen as tough and masculine. Creating protocols that take the decision-making out of players’ hands keeps them from making decisions that aren’t in their own best interests. Removing them would bring back that pressure for players to hide or minimize their ailments. If anything, MLB’s concussion protocols should become more stringent, not more relaxed.

The powers that be with Major League Baseball have no doubt followed the concussion scandal surrounding the National Football League. In January, the NFL settled for over $1 billion with retired players dealing with traumatic brain injuries, including dementia, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. For years, the league refused to acknowledge the link between playing football and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), which is a neurodegenerative disease that can lead to dementia and has many negative effects, such as increasing the risk of suicide. Since baseball isn’t often a contact sport, MLB doesn’t have to worry about brain injuries to this degree, but it still needs to take preventative measures in order to avoid billion-dollar lawsuits as well as avoiding P.R. damage. In December 2012, former major league outfielder Ryan Freel committed suicide. Freel, who claimed to have suffered as many as 10 concussions, suffered from CTE. MLB players can suffer brain injuries just like football players.

Huntington seems to be worried about not having enough rostered catchers in the event one or two catchers get injured. That is really an issue of roster management. Carrying only two catchers on the roster is a calculated risk, often justified. Huntington can ensure his team never has to be put in the position of not having a catcher in an emergency by rostering a third catcher. Rosters are expanding to 26 players next year, by the way.