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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Reds 4, Brewers 3: Bronson Arroyo had a no-hitter through seven and then ended up with a no-decision. Guess that happens when you ask a starter who usually throws less than seven innings a start to go eight, eh?  Still a nice game until that eighth, and a win for the Redlegs.

Giants 2, Dodgers 0: Two games against the their division-leading rivals, two shutouts by the Giants. This one led by Ryan Vogelsong, who blanked L.A. for seven innings, out-pitching Clayton Kershaw. This is NOT the Dodgers team we saw in April and May. They have dropped seven of eight, being outscored 35-13 during that time.

Cubs 5, Mets 3: Anthony Rizzo’s Cubs debut: 2 for 4 with an RBI, with said RBI putting the Cubs ahead to stay in the fourth inning.

Cardinals 5, Marlins 2: Carlos Zambrano has blown up in the past when a fielder makes an error which leads to a big inning. Last night Zambrano made a throwing error in the first that led to five unearned runs. No word on whether he yelled at himself. In other news, Miami is in freefall mode, losers of 17 of their last 20.

Red Sox 5, Blues Jays 1: Aaron Laffey, pressed into service as a starter after spending the last couple of years in the pen, pitched really well, shutting out the Sox over six innings. Then the Jays pen came in and the Sox rallied for five runs in the seventh and eighth innings. That came against the backdrop of an effective Daisuke Matsuzaka start (5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 5K).

Rangers 7, Tigers 5: Yu Darvish struck out ten Tigers in seven innings and won his tenth game. Josh Hamilton homered for the second straight night, so maybe his recent swoon is ending.

Braves 8, Diamondbacks 1: Hudson beats Hudson. Tim over Daniel to be precise. The former cruised for eight innings, giving up a single run. The latter was beaten up for five in an inning and two-thirds before leaving with forearm tightness as the Braves racked up 17 hits against Dbacks pitching.

Angels 7, Orioles 3: Anaheim had 17 hits of their own last night — four of them homers — with everyone in the lineup reaching at least once and six guys having multiple hit nights. Brian Matusz gave up 13 of them in his five innings. The Angels have won 12 of 16 overall and 12 of their last 13 on the road.

Nationals 12, Rockies 5: Pfft, 17 hits? How about 21? Well, 21 may translate to something less than 17 after adjusting for Coors, but it was still quite an offensive eruption for the Nats, especially considering that 11 of them were for extra bases. Including Adam LaRoche, who hit two homers. Ian Desmond added a 4 for 5.

Yankees 6, Indians 4: Phil Hughes is something of an adventure. He pitched eight shutout innings last night after a start in which he gave up six to the Braves last Wednesday. Also an adventure: Cory Wade who allowed four runs to the Tribe in the ninth before Rafael Soriano had to be summoned on a night that didn’t figure to require a save before the ninth inning.

Phillies 5, Pirates 4: Carlos Ruiz had three hits and a homer to raise his average to .361. Man, where would Philly be without him?

Royals 8, Rays 2: A couple of errors by Sean Rodriguez put Chris Archer in the danger zone in the third inning, but Brandon Gomes allowing four runs in a third of an inning later on doomed any chance Tampa Bay had. Bruce Chen, meanwhile, pitched seven effective innings and Jeff Francoeur hit a three-run bomb to put the game out of reach. The Rays have dropped five of seven games.

White Sox 3, Twins 2: Chicago took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth behind Gavin Floyd’s seven shutout innings and Matt Thornton’s one, but then Addison Reed allowed two runs on two hits and a walk. He held on, though. Just wanted to make sure everyone was awake, you know.

Astros 5, Padres 1: Kip Wells got a spot start — his first big league action in years — and, not surprisingly, didn’t do that well (5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER and a run-scoring wild pitch).

Mariners 3, Athletics 2: Brendan Ryan hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth. I searched all over this this box score for something else interesting and I swear I couldn’t find anything.

Video: Nelson Cruz hits second-longest home run of 2016

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his solo homerun with Daniel Vogelbach #20 of the Seattle Mariners to take a 2-1 lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 14, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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There’s certainly never a bad time to hit a home run, but when you get the opportunity to crush a triple-deck, 493-foot shot off of Tyler Duffey, you should take it. With the Mariners down 2-0 to the Twins in the fourth inning, Cruz hammered a fastball to deep left field for his 39th long ball of the season — and the second-longest home run hit in 2016, to boot.

It doesn’t hurt that the Mariners are 1.5 games back of a playoff spot, although they’ll have to oust the Blue Jays, Orioles, or Tigers to get a wild card. They’ve gone 3-3 in the last week, dropping two consecutive series to the Astros and Blue Jays and taking their series opener against Minnesota 10-1 on Friday night.

Cruz, for his part, entered Saturday’s game with a .299/.337/.610 batting line and six home runs in September. According to ESPN.com’s Home Run Tracker, Cruz sits behind Edwin Encarnacion and Mike Napoli with 13 “no-doubt” home runs in 2016, third-most among major league sluggers. It’s safe to say he can add Saturday’s moonshot to that list.

Marlins’ outfielder and undisputed home run king Giancarlo Stanton remains untouched at the top of the Statcast leaderboard with a 504-ft. home run, and it’s difficult to envision any slugger reaching beyond that before the end of the season. Even so, Cruz won’t need to clear 500 feet to extend an impressive hitting record. One more home run will put the 36-year-old at 40 on the year, making 2016 his third consecutive season with at least 40 homers, and his second such season doing so in Seattle.

Report: John Farrell won’t rule out a postseason return for Pablo Sandoval

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 11:  Pablo Sandoval #48 of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout before the Red Sox home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Orioles defeat the Red Sox 9-7.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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It’s been a strange season for Red Sox’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who lost his starting role in spring training, went 0-for-6 in three regular season appearances, and underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in May. That was the last the Red Sox were supposed to hear about Sandoval until spring 2017, when he was expected to rejoin the team after a lengthy rehab stint in Florida.

On Saturday, manager John Farrell was telling a different story. Per MLB.com’s Sam Blum, Farrell hinted that Sandoval could return to the team as soon as October, albeit in a very limited capacity.

At the time of the surgery, it was all looking at the start of next Spring Training,” Farrell said. “We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves here, but at the same time, we compliment him for the work he’s put in, the way he’s responded to the rehab, the way he’s worked himself into better condition. We’re staying open-minded.

If the 30-year-old does return in 2016, don’t expect him to look like the three-home run hitter of the 2012 World Series. Should the Red Sox lose another player to injury, Sandoval might be called on as a backup option, but he’s unlikely to see substantial playing time under any other circumstances. Despite making two appearances at DH in the instructional league, Sandoval has not started at third base since undergoing surgery, though Farrell noted that a return to third base would be the next logical step in his recovery process.

Sandoval has yet to hit his stride within the Red Sox’ organization after hitting career-worst numbers in 2015. According to FanGraphs, his Offensive Runs Above Average (Off) plummeted to -20.2, contributing approximately two wins fewer than the average offensive player in 2015. (The Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings held the lowest Off mark in 2015, with -26.3 runs below average.) Sandoval has not appeared in a postseason race since the Giants’ championship run in 2014.

Heading into Saturday evening, the Red Sox could clinch their spot in the postseason with a win over the Rays and an Orioles’ loss.