The health and safety protocols for the 2020 MLB season — and the world in general during the COVID-19 pandemic — were completely ignored after Oakland Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano was hit by a pitch from the Houston Astros’ Humberto Castellanos on Sunday.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Laureano was hit in the back on a breaking ball from Castellanos. It was the second time of the game that Laureano was hit by a pitch, and he exchanged words with Castellanos and Houston catcher Martin Maldonado while walking to first base.

And once Laureano got to first base, things really escalated. Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron taunted Laureano from the Houston dugout, and that led to Laureano charging the dugout. The result was a full-on brawl (and zero social distancing).

Laureano and Oakland catcher Austin Allen were ejected. Somehow, Cintron was not ejected. The punishment for a coach playing a large part in instigating a brawl — during a pandemic — should be severe, and hopefully the upcoming suspensions reflect that.

And this isn’t the first time the Houston Astros — who have a big target on their back following the sign-stealing scandal — have been involved in a bench-clearing incident this season. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly was suspended eight games after throwing behind Astros hitters and taunting them. But that incident didn’t turn into an actual brawl like Sunday’s incident in Oakland did.

As for the actual baseball game results, the A’s came away with a 7-2 victory for their ninth straight win.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.