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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Astros 7, Royals 3:  Houston got a three-run homer from Yuli Gurriel and a two-run shot from Brian McCann to win their eleventh straight game. The Astros are one win shy of their franchise record of 12 straight wins, which they did twice: 1999 and 2004. Oh, and it was their eleventh straight road win as well, which is perhaps even more impressive. Business trips suck.

Reds 4, Cardinals 2: Carlos Martinez was dominant through six innings, shutting out the Reds on one hit. But then the seventh happened. The Reds loaded the bases off of him before he gave up a two-run double to Eugenio Suarez. Mike Matheny pulled him for Kevin Siegrist and Scooter Gennett hit a two-run double off of him. All runs were charged to Martinez, of course. Just goes to show you how quickly everything can turn to hell in this world. St. Louis has lost four in a row and seven of ten.

Phillies 11, Braves 4: Bartolo Colon continues his nightmare season. Here one of the worst teams in baseball lit him up for eight runs in three and and two-thirds, puffing his ERA up to an unsightly 7.78. It was a good plan for the Braves to bring in veterans who could eat innings during the rebuild, but the Bartolo Colon/R.A. Dickey experiment has been a failure. Time to cut bait. In other news, I wish like hell that Mac Thomason, the founder of Braves Journal, was still alive. His roasting of Colon right now would be savage. It’d almost be enough to make me want to watch one of his starts.

Giants 7, Brewers 2: Jeff Samardzija was shaky at first, allowing two early runs, but then he settled down and shut the Brewers out for the next seven innings or so, retiring 19 batters in a row at one point. It was close while he was in the game too, as the Giants did not take the lead until pinch hitter Aaron Hill doubled in two in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie.

Cubs 3, Marlins 1: Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer in the first and Albert Almora Jr. hit a solo shot in the fourth to back Eddie Butler, who tossed one-run ball into the sixth. Mike Montgomery took it the rest of the way, working like a piggyback-starter and tossing three and a third shutout innings for the long save. I know the Cubs did this out of necessity — Wade Davis is out on paternity leave — but I’m surprised we don’t see more of this. There are a lot of starters who are good one time through the lineup before getting lit up after three innings or so.

Nationals 4, Dodgers 2:Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer in the second, Matt Wieters hit a two-run single in the fourth and Bryce Harper hit an RBI single in the fifth. Wieters’ and Harpers’ hits came with two outs, which is something managers and broadcasters love. I’m not sure if they love that more than guys hitting the ball to the opposite field, but man do they love two out hits. The Nats have now won six of seven.

Athletics 5, Blue Jays 3: There was a couple of year stretch where it seemed like Khris Davis was hitting multiple homers in a game all the dang time. I guess some of that magic has rubbed off on his teammate Ryon Healy, who homered twice and drove in all five of the A’s runs. This is the second time in three games he has hit two bombs, as he did so Saturday against the Nats. Sean Manaea won his fourth straight start, striking out seven over six innings while allowing two runs on four hits.

Oakland Athletics donate $100,000 to Black organizations

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As the United States experiences another night of protests against police brutality, the Oakland Athletics released a statement. Many sports leagues and individual teams released statements today — though not MLB nor most of its teams, interestingly — but the A’s went further than most. Their statement:

We are heartbroken and saddened by the inequities that persist in this country and the impact felt in our community. We stand in solidarity with the Black community in Oakland and beyond against racism and injustice. We will continue to support local organizations by donating $100,000 today to the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce, Oakland NAACP, and 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, who work tirelessly to serve the needs of the Black community.

Most organizations’ statements were so vague as to be meaningless, so it is nice to see the A’s not only acknowledge the problem, but put their money where their mouth is as well.

That being said, there is still some room for improvement. First, it is important to acknowledge what, exactly, the “racist and injust” inequities are. George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, the latest extrajudicial killing of a Black man at the hands of police. That’s why there have been protests across the nation for the last week. These statements, if they are to have the impact intended, need to explicitly mention police brutality against Black people. This is unquestionably a time to take sides and the lack of specificity benefits those doing the oppressing.

Second, what other actions will the Athletics take to show solidarity? The team had a “Law Enforcement Day” scheduled for August 2 this summer. Given recent events, would that have been canceled if there were a normal season? Will they hold Law Enforcement Day if an altered 2020 happens, and will they hold such events in the future? Will they contract with local police departments for security? If the Athletics’ solidarity begins and ends with a simple cash donation, the organization is just paying for good P.R.

The A’s should absolutely be applauded for their financial commitment to good causes. But there are always ways to do better.