And That Happened: Thursday's Scores and Highlights

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Giants 7, Padres 3: Round one goes to the Giants, who pull to within one game of the lead. And they did it in an unexpected way for this team in this park: the long ball. Huff, Posey, Burrell and Uribe all went yard. Matt Cain — who has had some serious issues vs. the Padres recently — took a three-hitter into the ninth. He worked the corners and threw lots of strikes. Jon Garland didn’t have so great a night:  “Terrible, terrible, especially to start a series. I
guarantee you no person in San Diego feels worse than I do, and I get to
go home and sleep on it. It’s going to be a fun night.”  Poor, poor baby.  And he’s wrong anyway: my brother lives there, and he’s got kidney stones right now. He feels way, way worse.

Rockies 6, Reds 5: Colorado gains a game as well.  And they took the lead in this one in awesomely spectacular style.  Check it out. Reds pitcher Nick Masset was on some other planet on that play, it seems. Or was he? “Before I was about to throw that pitch, I was going to fake to third and go to first,” Masset said. What a shame. If that’s really true, it would have been the first time in recorded baseball history that the fake-to-third-throw-to-first play had ever worked.

Tigers 6, White Sox 3: Chicago is six back with 22 games to play. The only glimmer of hope they seem to have is that the Twins were 5.5 back with 22 to play last year and forced a tie. Countering that: unlike the 2009 Tigers, the 2010 Twins don’t seem like a team that is going to struggle down the stretch.

Cardinals 11, Braves 4: Braves fans may be the only people on the planet who don’t mind that the whole world was all Brett Favre-crazy last night, because this was some embarrassing stuff. Colby Rasmus was 4 for 4 with two homers and four RBI.  FOX’s Dayn Perry — a Cardinals fan — on Twitter last night: “Let’s hope that wasn’t Colby’s Braves audition.” I don’t care if he was joking. That’s the only thing that made me feel remotely good about this one.

Rangers 4, Blues Jays 2: Colby Lewis won for the first time in forever. Jose Bautista hit his 44th home run.

Astros 3, Dodgers 2: Yay! John Lindsey got to bat! He flied out to center while pinch hitting for Ted Lilly, but an at bat is an at bat. And he probably had a lot of family in the stands, as he’s from nearby Mississippi. Lindsey is about the only thing interesting or, at the very least, non-despressing about the Dodgers these days.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.