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)

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.