And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 4: That Nationals have won seven in a row, with the last three being of the walkoff variety. This time courtesy of Adam LaRoche’s homer in the 11th inning. Leading up to it was a lot of fun: Wilson Ramos put the Nationals in front in the bottom of the seventh inning with a two-run homer and the Dbacks went back into the lead when Didi Gregorius did the same in the top of the eighth. The Nats came back in the ninth only to see Tyler Clippard blow the save in the ninth. In the Arizona half of the 11th they loaded the bases with no one out and then didn’t score, which is about the most annoying thing on the planet. If anything the LaRoche homer put them out of their misery.

Cubs 4, Mets 1: Kyle Hendricks and two relievers combined to allow one run on four hits and got all the support they’d need thanks to homers from Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez. The three of them will, hopefully for Cubs fans, represent a winning combination for years and years.

Angels 4, Red Sox 2: Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit RBI doubles. The Sox threatened in the ninth against fill-in closer Kevin Jepsen, but Jepsen worked around trouble, allowing only one run to score.

Orioles 8, White Sox 2: An uncharacteristically poor outing for Chris Sale, who needed 121 pitches just to make it through six. The O’s took advantage, led by Nick Markakis who was 3 for 5 with a homer. He also had a pretty darn swell catch.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $125,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Phillies 4, Mariners 1: Jerome Williams allowed one run and three hits while pitching into the eighth. Andres Blanco had a three-run homer. Before coming up at the end of June, Blanco had not played in the majors since 2011.

Royals 6, Twins 4: Erik Kratz came in to replace Sal Perez in the seventh and homered twice. That’s kinda how it’s been going for the Royals. Jason Vargas allowed one run on four hits in seven innings.

Braves 7, Pirates 3: Six runs in the first — kicked off by back-to-back homers from Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons to lead things off — pretty much ended this one before it started. Six in a row dropped by the Pirates. Whose season looks like it could be ending before it’s even technically finished.

Cardinals 6, Reds 5: Jhonny Peralta hit a walkoff single in the tenth. This after Trevor Rosenthal blew the save in the ninth. Jay Bruce homered, doubled and drove in four in a winning effort in a losing effort.

Report: Some MLB teams using outside labs for COVID-19 testing

MLB COVID-19 testing
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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Zach Buchanan report that the Diamondbacks are one of several teams that have used labs other than the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Utah to process COVID-19 testing. MLB has encountered delays with its testing, despite promising 24-hour turnaround time, so teams have tried other avenues — with the league’s endorsement — in order to get faster results.

The SMRTL had processed performance-enhancing drug screenings for MLB. The league converted it to process COVID-19 tests amid concerns that having a season and all of the testing that would be required throughout would take away testing resources from the general public. That some teams are utilizing labs other than the SMRTL suggests the league, indeed, is usurping those resources.

In prospect Seth Beer’s case, he tested positive for COVID-19. He needed to test negative twice consecutively to be cleared to return to play. Beer went to a third-party site in the Phoenix area. He received his second negative test and was cleared to return on July 9.

The Diamondbacks said that the labs they have used have assured them that they are not taking away tests from the public. That seems like a claim MLB and the D-Backs should demonstrably prove. Per Rosenthal and Buchahan, the D-Backs have gone to an outside lab about 20 times, which accounts for less than one percent of COVID-19 tests taken by players and staff. Still, those are 20 tests that could have been used by the general public. And if the D-Backs and a handful of other teams already are using outside labs, then the rest of the league likely already is or soon will be doing the same. In the end, there will be a lot more than 20 tests taken at outside labs by MLB players and staff. Considering that “Tier 1” players will be tested every other day throughout the season, the total of third-party tests taken — if things continue the way they are now — could easily reach into the thousands by the end of October.

We all want baseball back, but the players, coaches, and all other staff are no more important than cashiers, teachers, and delivery drivers, so they shouldn’t have more access to COVID-19 testing simply by virtue of being associated with Major League Baseball and all of its influence and financial muscle. It would be unethical for MLB to be cutting in line ahead of other people who need testing just as much as if not more than the players.