Associated Press

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 5, Twins 2: Carlos Carrasco had no trouble with the Twins’ hangover lineup, striking out 14 in eight and a third shutout innings. Two-run homers from Jason Kipnis and Roberto Perez, and a solo shot from Jay Bruce, provided all the offense needed.

Cubs 2, Cardinals 1: Like the Twins, the Cubs trotted out a hangover lineup, absent several regulars a day after clinching the division. Unlike them they won, and they eliminated the Cardinals from playoff contention as well. The Cubs took the lead in the top of the 11th on a Taylor Davis RBI double and the game — and the contending portion of the Cardinals’ season ended — when Leonys Martin leaped at the center-field fence to rob Paul DeJong of a would-be tying home run.

Brewers 4, Reds 3: Milwaukee closes to within two games of the Rockies for the second Wild Card with three left to play in what is, basically, the only playoff race drama left. The game was moved to mid-afternoon to avoid a conflict with the Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears game, which was played 120 miles away. I can’t think of any other place where they’d move a Major League Baseball game for a competing football game that did not have, like, a shared parking lot situation or some other concrete logistical issue.

Rays 9, Yankees 6Aaron JudgeBrett Gardner , Greg Bird and Aaron Hicks all homers for the Yankees, who had a 4-1 lead at one point, but the Rays feasted on Sonny Gray and the Yankees bullpen for seven runs in the fifth to keep the Yankees from gaining a game on the Red Sox. One of the runs that inning came on a wild pitch, another on a passed ball. Two came on a Wilson Ramos two-run homer and two on a Peter Bourjos RBI triple.

Nationals 5, Pirates 4: Sean Doolittle blew the save in the top of the ninth, allowing the Pirates to score two runs on a Josh Bell two-run homer to tie things up, but the Nats came back in the bottom half with Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy singles which set up a walkoff RBI single from Alejandro De Aza. De Aza had entered as a replacement for Howie Kendrick, who had shaken himself up a bit on a diving catch in the third inning and ended up going 2-for-3 with two RBI.

Astros 12, Red Sox 2: This was Game One of at least seven straight and possibly nine straight between these two clubs. Advantage: Houston. Jose Altuve had three of Houston’s 17 hits. Carlos Correa and Marwin Gonzalez each drove in three and Alex Bregman knocked in two. Correa, Bregman and Brian McCann each homered. The Red Sox will likely clinch the division during this series. I wonder if they’ll have to do it while scoreboard watching for a Yankees loss.

Marlins 7, Braves 1: Giancarlo Stanton hit two homers to get him to 59 on the year. One was a solo home run in the fourth, the other a two-run drive in the eighth. Back in July Stanton was eliminated in the first round of the Home Run Derby. He has hit 33 in games that count since.

Athletics 4, Rangers 1: Sean Manaea allowed one run, unearned, in six and two-thirds and Ryon Healy hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the sixth to put the A’s over the petering-out Rangers. He was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double but it didn’t matter to anything but the back of his baseball card. Bruce Maxwell took a knee in the bullpen during the National Anthem — the first time he’s done it on the road — and got some scattered boos from the Rangers crowd. Guess that’s just part of his life now.

White Sox 5, Angels 4Rob Brantly hit the game-tying home run in the eighth and then Tim Anderson hauled butt all the way from first base on a Rymer Liriano single to put the White Sox up for good two batters later. The Angels started Bud Norris again, because they seem hell-bent on saving $500,000 they’d have to give him if he made 60 relief appearances. How petty.

Tigers 4, Royals 1: Daniel Norris tossed five scoreless innings and the Tigers scored all four of their runs in the fifth to snap their nine-game winning streak. Three of them scored on a Nicholas Castellanos RBI double. He and Miguel Cabrera, assuming he doesn’t require a back-ectomy this offseason, are gonna be the only two dudes worth seeing in Detroit next year.

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.