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The Juice: Alfonso Soriano’s vintage wheels help Yankees avoid sweep at Tampa Bay

Big League Stew

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He doesn't have 40-40 capabilities anymore, but at age 37, Alfonso Soriano knows when to run. After stealing third base with one out, Soriano came home on a sacrifice fly by Curtis Granderson in the 11th inning Sunday, the difference-making run in a 3-2 victory at Tampa Bay. As a result, the New York Yankees avoided a sweep and moved within 3 1/2 games of a playoff spot in the AL wild card standings.

Regarding his plan against Tampa Bay's Jamey Wright, Soriano said via the Associated Press:

"I just tried to get on base because I know that guy's very slow to home plate. I got a double and he twice gave me a look at second and I said, 'It's time to go.' "

It was hard to tell from the video, but Soriano stumbled running to third on the next pitch. He scored easily on Granderson's fly ball to center two pitches after that.

''Being the DH, my leg is not loose 100 percent,'' Soriano said. ''My mind is 100 percent, but legs are not.''

Soriano has 284 career stolen bases, and 14 this season, though no more than 19 in a season since 2006, when he stole 41 with the Nationals.


Red Sox 8, Dodgers 1: Boston took a pair at Dodger Stadium, smartly avoiding Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke during the three-game set. Jake Peavy went the distance to help hand the Dodgers their first lost in any series in 2 1/2 months.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli homered for the Red Sox on the anniversary of the blockbuster nine-player trade in which the Dodgers acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from Boston.

"... and most of all, Nick Punto," they meant to say.

Orioles 10, Athletics 3: O's take two of three from A's to move within 2 1/2 of AL W.C. Big road trip coming up for Orioles, who go to Boston, New York and Cleveland.

Indians 3, Twins 1: The Indians also made four errors, but there's a much wider margin for error against the Twins. The Tribe is 1 1/2 games behind the A's for the wild card, so it's bunching up down there.

Braves 5, Cardinals 2: In what could be some kind of playoff preview, the Braves avoided a four-game sweep behind Mike Minor.

Giants 4, Pirates 0: It's nice to see Ryan Vogelsong have success again, helping the Giants split four games.

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Brewers 3, Reds 1: Marco Estrada allowed one hit over seven scoreless innings and the Brewers took two of three.

The guy on the right isn't Bronson Arroyo trying something new, it's principal dancer Cervilio Miguel Amador of the Cincy Ballet doing his thing while throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.

Royals 6, Nationals 4: Kansas City breaks a seven-game losing streak, igniting a rally in the eighth when lumbering Billy Butler beat out an infield single. What?! Looks like pitcher Craig Stammen forgot to cover first base.

''The pitcher's supposed to get over there,'' Butler said. ''They had to know I don't run very well. But all I could do was run, and I beat him after he didn't get off to a good start at first.''

White Sox 5, Rangers 2: If your last name was Danks, boy, did you have a game.

Tigers 11, Mets 3: It's hard to believe this home run Miguel Cabrera hit only counts for two runs. How often to balls reach the second deck in left field at Citi Field?

Phillies 9, Diamondbacks 5: Good effort by Roy Halladay in his first start since May.

Rockies 4, Marlins 3: Rex Brothers picked up save No. 13 in 14 chances. That's 6 1/2 saves per Brother.

Padres 3, Cubs 2 (15 inn.): The '84 Cubs will never visit the White House. This would have been #weirdbaseball, except it was a day game and didn't last past midnight:


Angels 7, Mariners 1: Are we there yet?

Blue Jays 2, Astros 1: Now we are.

''When you try to lose and still win the game, that's pretty impressive."

— Jason Kipnis of the Indians

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Note Curtis Granderson's focus, but also the reflection of Tropicana Field's ceiling. (Getty)

• The Tigers are 34-15 since July 2.

• The Reds put pitcher Tony Cingrani on the DL with a strained lower back.

• The Giants finished 11-23 against the NL Central.

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