And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Blue Jays 8, Rangers 7:  We hear a lot about Bryce Harper, but Brett Lawrie is a more fully formed version of “young, confident dude who can be a difference maker.”  Toronto fought back from an early 5-0 deficit, took the lead, then blew the lead before Lawrie hit a leadoff homer that just barely cleared the wall to walk things off in the bottom of the 9th.

Phillies 4, Braves 2: It’s not often that Jonny Venters is going to give up two runs on four hits in a given outing, but when he does, you know the Braves are sunk. Venters gave up a double, a single, struck a dude out but threw strike three wild and then gave up a couple more hits in the eighth inning and that was all she wrote.

Rays 3, Mariners 1: On a day when all of the off-the-field news was miserable for Tampa Bay at least the on-the-field part went OK.  The Rays had only three hits, but Matt Joyce’s homer and RBI triple were two of them. The Rays have won nine of ten.

Diamondbacks 5, Nationals 1: Bryce Harper’s home debut didn’t go well for him — he was 0 for 3 — or the Nationals, who have lost five straight. Trevor Cahill allowed one run over seven and a third.

Orioles 7, Yankees 1: Phil Hughes was largely ineffective again. Brian Matusz: not so much.  Matusz allowed only one run in six and a third, giving him his first win since last June and Buck Showalter his 1000th win of all time.

Tigers 9, Royals 3: Detroit scores five in the first inning, which while it took all of the drama out of this one, meant that the Tigers finally won one. Austin Jackson was four for five two batted in. He’s at .314/.398/.523 on the year, which is a bright spot indeed.

Marlins 2, Giants 1: Maybe the Marlins just needed to get out of town. They break their losing streak behind seven string innings from Ricky Nolasco and a Giancarlo Stanton homer. Matt Cain, who has pitched so brilliantly this season, is now only 1-2 on the year, putting him in the early lead for the King Felix Award, which goes to starters whose records stink because they get totally boned by their teammates all the time.

Angels 4, Twins 0: Minnesota is either doing a wonderful service in giving confidence to struggling teams this season or else they have officially become jobbers. If I were Gregg Easterbrook and gave every team putatively clever nicknames and never let go of them, I’d consider calling the Twins the Iron Mike Sharpes or the Randy Mulkeys or something like that. Jerome Williams with a three-hit shutout.

Padres 2, Brewers 0: Shaun Marcum shut out the Padres for seven innings but Edinson Volquez did the same to the Brewers and he didn’t have K-Rod giving up a two-run pinch hit homer to Mark Kotsay in the eighth. By the way, if you told me before I looked at the box score that Mark Kotsay hit the game-winning homer in this one, I would have assumed the Brewers won.  Kotsay is one of those guys who, gun to my head, I could never tell you who he played for in a given season until he did something that forced me to take notice.

White Sox 7, Indians 2: Gordon Beckham went 3 for 4 with a homer. Easily the best Beckham-related news of the day yesterday. This one had an extended rain delay and then fog. This is why they’ll never expand to Scotland.

Dodgers 7, Rockies 6: Dee Gordon hit his first homer and A.J. and Mark Ellis each had a bunch of hits. I wish those two were good. If they consistently helped the Dodgers win I’d consider some fun Ellis-related nickname for them or some clever pro wrestling reference or something. But, nah, I don’t think it’s gonna come up much.

Cardinals 10, Pirates 7, Adam Wainwright gets his first win since 2010. David Freese remains hot with another homer. Matt Holliday had a homer among his three hits and drove in two.

Astros 6, Mets 3: The difference between good teams and bad teams this year: good teams go into Houston on their way out west and take care of business against the Astros. The Mets aren’t doin’ it. Chris Snyder hit a three-run homer, Jed Lowrie had a two-run bomb.

Athletics 5, Red Sox 3: Jarrod Parker allowed only one run in six and two-thirds for his second straight strong start at the beginning of his career.

Cubs vs. Reds: POSTPONED: O Rain! that I lie listening to, You’re but a doleful sound at best: I owe you little thanks,’tis true, For breaking thus my needful rest! Yet if, as soon as it is light, O Rain! you will but take your flight, I’ll neither rail, nor malice keep,
Though sick and sore for want of sleep. But only now, for this one day, Do go, dear Rain! do go away!

Report: Padres interested in Maikel Franco

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals
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The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.

Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.

Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.