Drew Butera, Francisco Liriano

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 1, White Sox 0: The no-no! Francisco Liriano came into the game with a 9+ ERA and his job on the line and he didn’t allow a hit.  It wasn’t the most dominant no hitter you’ll ever see. He walked six guys, only struck out two and threw 123 pitches, but it doesn’t really matter. Liriano had never even had a complete game before. This is the kind of thing that makes baseball beautiful. A team and a player, both of which are having a crappy year, can have one night where everything is perfect. You play every day, and every day there’s the possibility for something wonderful.

Rays 3, Blue Jays 2: And that, my friends, is B.J. Upton. Belt-high fastball with zilch movement from Jon Rauch turns into a walkoff job.

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 3: It wasn’t a walkoff, but Justin Upton joined his brother in the game-winning homer club, his coming in the eighth. My brother and I talked on the phone with each other and complained about how we get aches and pains for seemingly no reason anymore. And can’t sleep through the night without having to wake up and pee. So it was almost the same.

Phillies 4, Nationals 1: Cole Hamels allowed only five hits. Raul Ibanez broke his 0-for-gajillion streak with a couple of doubles. Jayson Werth, in his return to Philly, was getting booed when he came to the plate, then he stopped and tipped his cap to the crowd. Then the boos quickly turned into cheers. I can’t decide if that’s beautiful or if the Phillies fans’ lack of conviction on the matter is mock-worthy.

Astros 10, Reds 4: Since their four-game losing streak ended on April 20th, the Reds have alternated wins and losses every day … until last night, when they lost their second in a row. On ESPN.com, the team schedule lists wins in green and losses in red. As Lt. Giardello used to tell the homicide unit: there’s a lot of red on that board.

Red Sox 7, Angels 3: Jon Lester vs. Dan Haren was something to look forward to. So of course I missed it because I had 18 things to do and then decided to watch the Liriano no hitter once I was able to turn my attention to TV.  Lester got the better of it, striking out 11 in seven innings, holding the Sox close in a 1-0 ballgame before they helped him out with seven runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth.

Giants 7, Mets 6: Mets jumped out to a 3-0 lead and blew it, took a 5-4 lead and blew it and then battled back to make it 6-6 and send it into extras. Then Aubrey Huff went yard in the 10th, ending a personal 0 for 20 slump.

Tigers 4, Yankees 2: Detroit snaps a seven-game losing streak. Scott Sizemore gets three hits and drives in a run in his first action since being called up from Toledo. Lots of people thrive when they leave Toledo.

Cubs 4, Dodgers 1: Going forward, unless someone hits four homers or something, Andre Ethier’s hitting streak is what we’re going to care about most in Dodgers games. So: yes, he got a hit, so he’s at 29. More improbable than an extended hitting streak was Carlos Pena actually putting good wood on the ball, but he did that too with a homer.

Padres 6, Pirates 5: Speaking of “good wood” this one was helped along by some bad wood. Specifically, bad Brandon Wood who, after reaching second base with one out in the ninth decided to try to take third on a pitch in the dirt but was thrown out. Clint Hurdle’s opinion of the play: “You’re already in scoring position and if you’re safe, we’re all happy. But he pushed the envelope a little bit. At times you have to be smart, so when you’re out at third like that, it never looks good.”

Mariners 4, Rangers 3: The M’s have won six of seven and — get this — while still in last place in the West, are only two games back of co-leaders Anaheim and Texas.

Indians 4, Athletics 1: Key series for the Indians, as they have to prove that they can be more consistent on the road and that they can beat good pitching. So far so good, as they take this one for their seventh straight victory. Strong outing for Fausto Carmona, who gave up only the one run in eight innings of work.

Royals 6, Orioles 5: A game-winning sac fly by Jeff Francoeur in the 10th. He also had the homer that tied the game for Kansas City to send it to extras. He’s at .315/.362/.604 with 7 homers and 23 RBI on the year. But no, I am not yet preparing my hat for consumption purposes.

Cardinals 7, Marlins 5:  Daniel Descalso hit a go-ahead three-run shot in the seventh inning — his first ever homer — to give this one to St. Louis. On the less-than-bright side, Albert Pujols was 0-for-5, hit into his 10th double play of the year and stranded eight runners. Hurm. I still think he’ll bust out of it, but man, if he doesn’t, and turns in a poor year by his standards, it only makes the free agent stuff harder for the Cardinals, doesn’t it? It’s one thing to commit a boatload of cash to the best player in baseball. But do you commit a boatload to one who you’re not sure will continue to be elite?  Because it’s not like one bad year will cut his demands down to 3/$30 million or something.

Brewers vs. Braves: POSTPONED:  Don’t come around here no more, bringing me all of your bad rain. Can’t you see I’ve got troubles of my own. I ain’t got time to be messing with all of your bad rain. Why in the world can’t you just leave that stuff alone?

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.