Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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The first-place Cardinals closed out the first half of 2015 with three straight losses in Pittsburgh, which allowed the Pirates to move their once-gaping deficit in the National League Central standings to just 2 1/2 games. But facing this current Mets offense can do wonders for a struggling team with good pitching.

St. Louis topped New York 3-2 on Friday night behind a very solid outing from Lance Lynn and then rolled to an easy 12-2 rout on Saturday. Randal Grichuk homered twice and collected a career-high six RBI. Jason Heyward tallied five hits, continuing to stay hot after a somewhat sluggish first two months. Starter John Lackey gave up 10 hits but only one run.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has dropped two games in a row in Milwaukee.

The standings gap is back to 4 1/2 games entering play Sunday.

Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …

Mariners 4, Yankees 3

Rays 3, Blue Jays 2

Royals 7, White Sox 6 (13 innings)

Dodgers 4, Nationals 2

Marlins 1, Phillies 3

Orioles 3, Tigers 0

Pirates 5, Brewers 8

Cubs 4, Braves 0

Indians 9, Reds 4

Rangers 7, Astros 6

Mets 2, Cardinals 12

Giants 8, Diamondbacks 4

Rockies 4, Padres 5

Red Sox 0, Angels 3

Twins 2, Athletics 3 (10 innings)

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

David Price and Mookie Betts
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.