Associated Press

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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There were a bunch of blowouts yesterday. Feels like a lot of teams could use a few days off. Guess it’s good that a week from today they get ’em.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 2, Blue Jays 1: Domingo German and Ryan Borucki battled, each allowing only a run and the pens tossed shutouts for the rest of regulation. Some small ball in the 10th was the difference, with Greg Bird getting plunked by former Yankee Tyler Clippard, Austin Romine sacrificing his pinch runner over and Brett Gardner singling him in for what would be the winning run. Blue Jays first base coach Tim Leiper was ejected in this one. I can’t for the life of me remember the last time I saw a first base coach ejected. They tend to be a timid lot, doing nothing more aggressive than patting a runner on the tush and yelling “BACK!”

Athletics 6, Indians 0: What looked like was going to be a bad weekend in Cleveland sure did turn around nicely for Oakland. They were on the verge of losing 3-0 to Corey Kluber on Saturday afternoon but rallied for three in the eighth as soon as he left and then won in extras. That momentum carried over into Sunday when Brett Anderson — fresh back after nearly two months on the disabled list — tossed five shutout innings and three relievers finished the job. Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run homer. If you haven’t been paying attention, the A’s have been playing great baseball lately. They have either won or split their last seven series and are now ten games over .500 for the first time in nearly four years. If they played in the AL Central, NL East or NL West they’d be in a dogfight for the division lead.

Rangers 3, Tigers 0: Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who is named like either the son of an Edwardian dandy who took a wife from Texas or, possibly, a mid-ranking official in a galaxy-spanning government in a science fiction novel, shut out the Tigers into the sixth inning and then handed it over to either his mates or his galactic comrades, depending on his provenance. The Rangers got all their scoring done by the second inning and this one was done in less than three hours. Shin-Soo Choo got an infield single in the ninth to extend his on-base streak to 47 consecutive games, setting a new Rangers record. The old record was held by Julio Franco, who set it when he was still relatively young. Which, without looking, I’ll say was 1939.

Rays 9, Mets 0: Nate Eovaldi was perfect through six and ended up tossing seven one-hit shutout innings, striking out nine. He knocked in a run in the fifth, too. C.J. Cron‘s first inning three-run homer was all the scoring Eovaldi needed, but Joey Wendle and Jake Bauers also homered for Tampa Bay because professionals don’t stop trying just because the other team is already beat.

Marlins 10, Nationals 2: Miami rattled off 22 hits, 20 of which were singles. Death by, um, a score of cuts I guess. J.T. Realmuto had five of them and Martin Prado had four of them. Not that the Marlins even get the bulk of the headlines. Mark Reynolds, who had 10 RBI on Saturday, played again, went 2-for4 with a walk and even pitched a third of an inning, retiring the only batter he faced. In other news, I’m going to choose to believe that the Marlins housing the Nats here was karmic payback for Dave Martinez trying to find something to bitch about when his team was actually playing well for the first time in weeks. Crash Davis once said what not to do with a streak, and I think that even applies to little streaks.

Pirates 4, Phillies 1: Nick Kingham allowed one over six and also knocked in the go-ahead run. Go-ahead two runs, actually, with a fourth inning double that turned a 1-1 game into a 3-1 game. Artist’s rendering of Nick Kingham.

Brewers 10, Braves 3: A five-run third inning capped by a three-run bomb from Hernan Perez set the tone here and sent Milwaukee on course for a blowout win. Jesus Aquilar homered twice, a solo shot in in the seventh and a three-run shot in the eighth. Aguilar has 11 homers in his last 20 games. The Braves left [mashes hand on calculator haphazardly while trying to forget the game) about 2,402 men in scoring position in this one. They’ve also lost five of six and are doing things like benching guys for lack of hustle. Which is to say that, yeah, they could use a break.

Twins 10, Orioles 1: Jake Odorizzi tossed six shutout innings but it was tight when he left. Thankfully his teammates put up an eight-run sixth to let him shower easily.  Mitch GarverEduardo Escobar and Brian Dozier homered. Dozier homered in the same inning in which he scored off of Escobar’s homer, in fact. Alex Cobb took his 11th loss. He’s on pace for 20. I hope Baltimore gives him a chance to do it. We need more noble and honorable ignominy in this world. People doing less-than-great things but still holding their head up high with dignity and all of that. You know, for the kids.

Astros 2, White Sox 1: Jose Altuve homered for one run. The second scored after a double, a sacrifice fly and a sac back to the pitcher from Marwin Gonzalez. And they say manufacturing is a dead sector in this country. Dallas Keuchel allowed one run over seven.

Red Sox 7, Royals 4: Boston sweeps Kansas City. After adjusting for team quality that goes down as a split somehow. Stats are weird. Andrew Benintendi had four hits and scored twice and Rick Procello scattered nine hits over seven innings, allowing three. Boston got two RBI a piece from Mitch Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Eduardo Nunez. The Royals have lost nine in a row, 10 of 11 and . . . well, we could do that all the way back to the beginning of the season seeing as though they have the second worst record in baseball and look poised to challenge Baltimore for that mark all season long.

Cubs 6, Reds 5: The second walkoff walk we’ve seen in a week, this one coming in the tenth inning when Jackson Stephens issued a free pass to David Bote. Stephens issued three walks that inning — one intentional — and uncorked a wild pitch. Chicago has won eight of ten, all by coming from behind.

Mariners 6, Rockies 4: Ryon Healy homered and drove in five via a two-run double and a three-run homer. Not bad for a guy who was 0 for his last 13 heading into the game. Charlie BlackmonCarlos Gonzalez and Trevor Story hit the homers off of M’s starter Wade LeBlanc, but he still got the win. Between the contract extension he signed and the trail magic here it was a pretty good week for LeBlanc.

Giants 13, Cardinals 8: There wasn’t much in the way of pitching here. Pablo Sandoval had five RBI, though, Andrew McCutchen and Alen Hanson had three hits and Brandon Belt and Gorkys Hernandez had two. Greg Holland gave up five runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. He now has an 8.27 ERA, has given up 29 hits in 20.2 innings and has walked only one fewer batter than he has struck out. Everyone said the Cardinals got a bargain with that one-year, $14 million deal they gave him but, boy howdy.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3: Sixteen innings of baseball were concluded with Wil Myers hitting a homer off of . . . Jeff Mathis? Yep, Jeff Mathis. The catcher. If it’s any consolation to Mathis, Myers said he was the best position player he’d ever seen pitch. And yeah, it wasn’t terrible apart from the gopher ball. The homer is in this video sequence, but check out how he froze Carlos Asuaje with that perfectly-placed 81 m.p.h. fastball:

Easy gas, man.

Angels 4, Dodgers 3: Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer off of his former teammate Andrew Heaney (note: Heaney was a Dodger for a few hours when he was traded there in December 2014; he was traded to Anaheim that same day. I wonder what his best memory was of being a Dodger?) but that’s all L.A. would get off of him. Justin Upton singled in two runs in the third to make it 3-2 and then Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani hit solo homers in the sixth and seventh, respectively, to give the men from Anaheim the victory.

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.