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There would be no Papa Grande dance in Baltimore on Friday night.
Charged to protect a 5-3 lead in the ninth, Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde gave it all back (and one extra) as the Orioles completed a dramatic ninth inning comeback. It all started with a Nick Markakis home run leading off. Adam Jones then singled and advanced to third on another single by Chris Davis. The table was set right there, but Valverde did recover to retire Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy on popups.
That left it up to left-handed swinging Chris Dickerson, who was in the lineup for the first time in eight days after dealing with wrist soreness. His night had not been going well, either, as he stepped in 0 for 3 with two strikeouts. But all it took was one swing to turn everything around, and that's what he did by depositing Valverde's offering in the right field seats for the 7-5 walk-off winner.
After midnight Part 1: Early morning baseball has become a trend this week. In this case, the Blue Jays and Padres got there the old fashioned way: by wasting a ton of opportunities and burning through their bullpens. It took all of 17 innings (and time) to crown a winner, and it was San Diego who got it done on Jesus Guzman's walk-off single scoring Jedd Gyorko. 4-3 was your final.
After midnight Part 2: Much like the Giants-Cardinals game 24 hours earlier, the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians waited out the rain at Progressive Field to play into the wee hours of the morning. Only in this case, it's the players who have a quick turnaround on Saturday afternoon, not the umpires. Anyway, the Rays will be sleeping better (if anybody sleeps at all) as they pulled away with a 9-2 win thanks to a pair of James Loney home runs.
Night of returns: Not only did the New York Yankees get Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis back from the disabled list, ace C.C. Sabathia also rediscovered the missing velocity on his fastball on his way to a terrific start in their 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox. Sabathia touched up to 94 on the gun, which was a welcomed sight after two months of consistently averaging high 80s. Not surprisingly, he matched a season high with ten strikeouts and pitched into the eighth inning for the first time since April 27.
As for Teixeria and Youkilis: They combined to go 1 for 7 with a walk and an RBI (Youkilis single in fifth).
Just like old times: Bartolo Colon has had his share of gems against the Chicago White Sox (and a couple for them) over his 16-year career. He added another on Friday, going the distance on a five-hit shutout in the A's 5-0 victory. Colon only struck out three, but threw 77 of his 106 pitches for strikes in what would best be
Read More »from The Juice: O’s stun Tigers on Chris Dickerson’s walk-off homer; Padres win in 17-inning marathon