And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Blue Jays 3, Mariners 2: It was tied 2-2 in the ninth when Kevin Pillar hit a two-out solo shot to walk it off. Toronto sweeps the series. The Jays were 8-17 in April. They’re 9-4 in May. It thaws later in Canada I guess.

Rockies 9, Dodgers 6Pat Valaika homered twice and drove in four. Nolan Arenado hit a homer too. Antonio Senzatela got the win. It was his sixth. He’s tied for the league lead in that department. Greg Holland got his 16th save. He leads the league in that department. The Rockies have 24 wins. They lead the league in that department.

Marlins 3, Braves 1: Miami scored only three runs. They all came on a Tyler Moore pinch-hit three-run homer. That snapped  the Marlins’ five-game losing streak. Miami’s starting pitcher Justin Nicolino:

“When we’re scuffling like this and we get a big win, momentum changes,” Nicolino said. “Momentum is on our side, and we’ve got to keep going.”

Bah. Momentum is Dan Straily.

Rays 11, Red Sox 2: Drew Pomeranz left early with a tight triceps and, while it was somewhat close for a while, the Boston pen ended up hemorrhaging runs late. Steven Souza Jr. hit a three-run homer, Jesus Sucre drove in three. It was a four and a half hour nine inning game, by the way. Baseball is the bes, but I have a hard time even doing things I love for four hours or more.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 0: Yadier Molina homered twice, Matt Carpenter hit a two-run shot and Adam Wainwright tossed seven shutout innings. The Cardinals figured out how to turn their slow start around and take over the Central: just act like it’s 2013 again. The World Series Champions are in fourth place.

Indians 8, Twins 3: Jason Kipnis has had a pretty tough go of it so far this year. Yesterday he was moved into the leadoff spot and went 4-for-5, hit a couple of homers and drove in four. Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall also homered as the Tribe snapped a three-game losing streak and avoided the sweep.

White Sox 9, Padres 3: Down 3-1 in the eighth, the White Sox put up an eight-spot. It came via bad defense and a bunch of walks by the Padres. Their manager, Andy Green, said this after the game: “That’s one of the ugliest half-innings I’ve ever seen in baseball; especially at the major league level. There’s no excuse for so many things that happened that inning.” I bet that was a long-ass fight from Chicago back to San Diego for the Padres.

Brewers 11, Mets 9: Manny Pina hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to put the cherry on the top of the Brewers’ comeback from six down. Then all the Mets fans I follow on Twitter started melting down and calling for Terry Collins’ head, as if it were his fault. Mets are a second place team right now, but that ain’t saying much in the NL East.

Royals 9, Orioles 8: The sweep. Mike Moustakas homered and drove in four. Jorge Soler and Drew Butera also homered, with Soler’s going 464-feet. The Royals have won four in a row and six of seven.

Rangers 6, Athletics 4: Lots of rallies on Sunday. Here the Rangers were down 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh when they rallied for three with Nomar Mazara hitting a tiebreaking RBI single. He did the same thing in the seventh inning on Saturday too. The Rangers have won six in a row. It hasn’t been easy to win those, though, with the last five wins being come-from-behind jobs.

Angels 4, Tigers 1: Mike Trout missed a couple of games with a hamstring, came back and has homered in each of the last three. Just a dang machine. Alex Meyer, the super tall project who has bounced around a lot as various clubs have tried to capture whatever Randy Johnson lighting there may exist in that bottle of his, allowed one run while pitching into the seventh. In this he outdueled Justin Verlander who walked five guys in six innings.

Giants 8, Reds 3: The Giants win their third game in a row for the first time all year. Brandon Belt hit his third home run in four games. Jeff Samardzija finally won his first game of the year.

Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 4: Jose Osuna broke a 10th inning tie with a two-run homer. In the bottom half the Dbacks threatened, loading the bases, but Tony Watson got out of the jam of his own creation. One of the Dbacks who helped load the bases was A.J. Pollock, who singled, but he injured his right groin running up the baseline and had to come out of the game. That’s certainly bad news as he’s no stranger to groin injuries. Paul Goldschmidt hit two homers in a losing cause.

Phillies 4, Nationals 3: Nationals 6, Phillies 5:  In the first game Washington had a 3-1 lead in the ninth only to watch Shawn Kelley give up a leadoff homer to Aaron Altherr followed by two doubles which tied the game. Dusty finally yanked him after he issued a walk. Koda Glover then game in and gave up the go-ahead and winning single to Ty Kelly. If only someone had woken Dusty up from his nap earlier that inning may not have gotten so out of hand. In the nightcap, Michael Taylor hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth. Washington needed the go-ahead homer because their bullpen blew the lead Max Scherzer had staked them to. Scherzer, by the way, took a 100 m.p.h. line drive off his knee earlier in the game and writhed in pain on the ground, only to stay in and keep pitching. Tough stuff, that one.

Yankees 11, Astros 6; Astros 10, Yankees 7:  In the day game the Astros led 3-1 and 6-4, but the Yankees rallied with a six-run seventh inning capped by a Chase Headley bases-loaded triple. Aaron Judge hit his 14th homer earlier. He leads the bigs in big flies. As for the nightcap, it was ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, on Derek Jeter Day and, at least early on, it looked to be a blowout. I didn’t watch the game itself, but given those variables, I have to imagine that the number of comments made by Shulman, Boone and Mendoza about the actual game, as opposed to Jeter stuff, was in the single digits. Never watch nationally-televised baseball before October, you guys. Stay local, where games are still, mostly, just games. In any event, the Yankees did make something of a game of it later, but Houston’s first inning 6-0 lead, thanks to homers by George Springer, Josh Reddick and Alex Bregman was too much to spot a good team.

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.