The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.
Breathing room, Part 1: The White Sox extended their lead to three games in the AL Central with a 6-1 victory against the Tigers on Monday night. The big plays included a three-run home run by Alex Rios in a breakthrough four-run sixth inning against Rick Porcello, and a double play by Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera in the third that settled down left-hander Jose Quintana. Porcello had been cruising with a 1-0 lead until Rios eased some angst — Chicago had been 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position — with a three-run shot to left. The beloved A.J. Pierzynski followed with a solo homer for insurance. The Tigers were piling up scoring threats against Quintana, who hadn't made it out of the fourth inning in either of his past two starts, until Cabrera went 6-4-3 with runners at first and second and no outs in the third. Quintana finished with seven strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings in his hugest start of the season. The Tigers, who have dropped six of seven since sweeping the Sox at Detroit, have three more shots at Chicago.
Breathing room, Part 2: The Oakland Athletics also put another game between themselves and their closest pursuers, beating the Angels 3-1 in late-night AL West action. Jarrod Parker pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and got support by Cliff Pennington and Brandon Moss, who each hit a solo home run. Coco Crisp set the tone with a leadoff triple and run scored in the first. Oakland inched a half-game closer to first-place Texas and the Angels had their six-game winning streak snapped. Three games remain in the series.
In or out?: Norichika Aoki supplied the big hit, and the Brewers used a four-run seventh inning to win for the 16th time in 21 games, beating the Braves 4-1 to move within five games of a playoff spot in the NL wild-card race. Was that sentence complicated enough? Well, the Dodgers, Pirates and Phillies are also mucking up the wild-card race, and Arizona is only six back, so it's still kind of a complicated long shot.
* * *
Quote of the Day:
"We might win all 21 of them," — a smiling Charlie Manuel, after predicting the Phillies would need to win 14 or 15 of their final games to make the playoffs. Philly beat the Marlins 3-1 to win for the 13th time in 17 games.
* * *
Photo of the Day:
* * *
Three Facts for the Water Cooler
• Nationals 5, Mets 1: Per the Associated Press: The Mets tied a team record by scoring three or fewer runs for the 11th straight game at home, matching the mark last done in 1979.
• The Pirates lost for the 21st time in 30 games after falling 4-3 to the Reds in 14 excruciating innings. The dispassionate were put out of their misery by Ryan Ludwick, whose two-out infield single ended the 5-hour, 22-minute affair.
• Rockies pitcher Alex White hit a home run against Ryan Vogelsong in a 6-5 victory against the San Francisco Giants. Vogelsong is in the middle of a very untimely regression. He is 2-3 with a 9.57 ERA in six starts overall since Aug. 13, the AP reports.
* * *