And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 3, Indians 1: The no hitter for Ervin Santana.  We told the story as it happened yesterday, broke out some analysis of it a bit thereafter and threw on some perspective a bit after that.  Most notable: man, I had no idea that the game started at noon, so it was the sixth inning before I even knew it was going on yesterday. Made for a very quick ramp-up to the no-no.

Braves 2, Pirates 1: Because what these two teams needed after an emotional 19-inning affair was extra innings.  At least it wasn’t a ton of extra innings. David Ross mercifully ended it with an RBI single in the tenth. There were, to my knowledge anyway, no calls in this game which could be described as “criminal” or “the worst call I’ve ever seen in baseball history.” Although, the fact that Clint Hurdle just managed two nail-biter extra-inning games in a row without once calling on his All-Star reliever Joel Hanrahan is some sort of offense against God and Nature.

Mariners 9, Yankees 2: We hit this one up yesterday as well. The losing streak, she is over. Which is kind of sad for me because (a) I’m not a Mariners fan; and (b) there is a certain beauty to be found in life’s extremes. Mere mediocrity, which the Mariners now hope to embody for a while, is rather dull.

White Sox 2, Tigers 1: Even though I do this for a living, I never portray myself as some kind of baseball expert. I know a good deal about baseball, but many of you know far more. I fancy myself a pretty good writer when I bother to be careful about it. I think I’m a credible observer of human behavior. I’ve been told that I have a somewhat above average wit. By themselves, those traits don’t count for much, but put them together and you have yourself a damn good blogger if I may say so. But no, I’m not going to claim that I’m some baseball savant.  Which is why I have no problem admitting that I had never once heard the name Alejandro De Aza before he hit the two-run homer that proved to be all the runs the Sox would need yesterday.

Mets 8, Reds 2: Who needs Carlos Beltran? Lucas Duda played right and he hit a homer. More useful: David Wright’s three-run homer and four runs batted in overall. A complete game for Mike Pelfrey.

Giants 2, Phillies 1: Pitcher’s duel. Well, every game is technically a pitcher’s duel, only in most games the pitchers really suck at dueling. Here Matt Cain and Cole Hamels each had a handle on things, but Cain had a bit of a tighter grip. Only struck out one dude, though, which is always weird.

Blue Jays 3, Orioles 0: Ricky Romero didn’t get the shutout, but he did pitch eight and a third shutout innings to grab the win.  You don’t get to finish when you uncork a wild one on strike three and then hit a dude in the ninth inning of a close game.

Red Sox 12, Royals 5:  After scoring only once in that 14-inning game on Monday, the Sox hung a quarter-hundred on the Royals over the course of the next two nights.  Bruce Chen was absolutely muderlized: 4 IP, 10 H, 10 ER.

Marlins 7, Nationals 5: Steve Cishek did his best to make it interesting by allowing four runs in the ninth, but the Feesh held on. In other news, I have a friend in Washington — a non-baseball fan — who is going on an office outing to see the Nats-Marlins matinee this afternoon.  She asked me who to watch for. I told her to bring a book.

Brewers 2, Cubs 0: Zack Greinke shut ’em out for six and two-thirds and the pen took them the rest of the way. Rickie Weeks’ ankle injury was a big downer, though.

Rockies 3, Dodgers 1: The Rockies avoid the sweep thanks to a nice outing by Aaron Cook. Hiroki Kuroda pitched for L.A. Maybe for the last time if the trade rumors are to be believed.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 3: Justin Upton hit two homers. One of them was fueled by anger because Corey Luebke quick pitched him, which my unwritten rule book clearly states is frowned upon. Look, it’s clearly unwritten right here in white and white on invisible page 38: “pitchers shall wait until hitters are ready for the pitch before delivering said pitch.”

Athletics 13, Rays 4: Two teams heading in very different directions. Hideki Matsui and Ryan Sweeney hit homers in the fourth inning — part of a nine-run fourth inning — for the offensive juggernaut Oakland Athletics. Seventeen hits in all, with every starter having at least one. Five runs batted in for Matsui.

Twins 7, Rangers 2: Brian Duensing allowed only one run is six and two-thirds. Bigger news: Joe Mauer hit a homer. An actual home run. First one since last September.

Astros 4, Cardinals 2: And the curse of Colby Rasmus begins.

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.