Roy Halladay wins in return to Toronto

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Roy Halladay was victorious in his return to Toronto this afternoon, tossing a complete game (what else?) as part of a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays.

Halladay threw 110 pitches en route to his major-league leading sixth complete game of the season. He scattered eight hits while striking out eight and walking just one. The Phillies’ ace is now tied Jair Jurrjens for the National League-lead with 11 wins and has taken over the major-league lead with 131 strikeouts over 136 1/3 innings.

The Phillies actually trailed in this game entering the top of the seventh inning, but Chase Utley put them in front with a two-run homer off left-hander Luis Perez. Halladay was given an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI single by Shane Victorino.

Halladay had to endure a long wait before pitching in the bottom of the ninth because reliever Jon Rauch got into it with home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez following Victorino’s single. The 6-foot-10 right-hander had to be restrained by a few members of the Jays’ staff, including his manager John Farrell, who actually ripped his jersey off. Watch in glorious GIF form here. Farrell was eventually tossed himself for continuing the argument over the strike zone.

Jose Bautista hit a long solo home run to center field off Halladay in the fourth inning in a losing cause. He now has the MLB-lead with 26 home runs.

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.