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.

Giants acquire Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 07: Eduardo Nunez #9 of the Minnesota Twins throws for an out at first in the fourth inning during a game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 7, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
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The Giants have acquired All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Adalberto Mejia, the club announced on Thursday night.

Nunez, 29, went 0-for-4 in Thursday night’s game against the Orioles. He’s hitting .296/.325/.439 with 12 home runs, 47 RBI, 49 runs scored, and a league-best 26 stolen bases in 391 plate appearances this season. Nunez has played mostly at shortstop this season, but has also logged significant time at third base and a handful of games at second base, so he’ll give the Giants some versatility.

Nunez will likely play a lot of third base for the Giants as Matt Duffy is still sidelined with a strained left Achilles. He’s earning $1.475 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017.

Mejia, 23, was considered the Giants’ seventh-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Sacramento last month after posting a 1.94 ERA with Double-A Richmond. In seven starts with Sacramento, he has a 4.20 ERA with a 43/11 K/BB ratio in 40 2/3 innings.

With a roster spot open, the Twins called up infield prospect Jorge Polanco from Triple-A Rochester, per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger.

Report: Mariners’ Taijuan Walker drawing “strong” trade interest

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 08:  Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker #44 of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout after completing eight innings against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on June 8, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot.  He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.

Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.

The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.