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Big League Stew

The Juice: Barry Zito nabs rare shutout for first Giants win, Yanks and Red Sox end losing streaks

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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(US Presswire)

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.

Barry Zito throws first complete-game shutout in nine years: The oft-maligned pitcher partied like it was 2003 again, stiffing the Colorado Rockies on opening day at Coors Field and earning the Giants a 7-o win, their first of the season. The 33-year-old allowed four hits, threw 112 pitches and credited an adjustment to his delivery for the unexpected success.

You'd have to go all the way back to April 18, 2003 to find the last Zito shutout — a 9-0 win over the Rangers that came the season after the then-A's pitcher captured his Cy Young award. Zito went the full distance on only one other occasion between that game and Monday and he had never pitched a shutout for the Giants.

Making the day even sweeter was the fact that no Giants pitcher had ever pitched a complete-game shutout at Coors Field.

''I couldn't be happier for Barry,'' Zito's  teammate Aubrey Huff told reporters. ''It's no secret he gets buried by the fans, the media and all. To see him go out there and put up a complete-game shutout in Colorado, all the haters out there — that's for them.''

Yankees and Red Sox win! I couldn't have been the only one who was not looking forward to a slew of "don't panic, it's still early" articles had Boston and New York remained winless this week . Lucky for us, then, that both nailed down their first wins on Monday. Boston ruined Toronto's opening day with a three-run ninth off closer Sergio Santos while the Yankees topped previously undefeated Baltimore behind a solid effort from Ivan Nova.

Yu Darvish notches first win: His first inning was less than impressive, but Darvish settled down long enough for the Rangers offense to get him in the win column. Darvish retired 10 batters in a row at one point during Texas' 11-5 win over Seattle, whetting our appetites for a second start that will be free of the pressures that came with his debut.

C.J. Wilson gets his first victory with the Angels: With the Halos playing earlier in the day, Wilson got a chance to watch his old team — and vice versa. The former Rangers ace cruised to an easy 5-1 win in Minnesota, allowing three hits and striking out five over seven innings.

The Cardinals stay powerful: Albert who? Despite losing he-who-shall-not-be-named, St. Louis' offense has gotten off to a torrid start by posting two three-homer innings in its first five games. The latest three-homer frame  came off Cincinnati's Homer Bailey during Monday's first inning as the Cardinals cruised to a 7-1 victory over the Reds.

Meet Tommy Milone: With all the games back east completed, the A's rookie left-hander took advantage of the baseball spotlight  and turned in eight scoreless innings in Oakland's 1-0 win over the Royals.

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Photo of the Day: High five!

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(AP)

If Josh Hamilton is indicating the number of homers the Rangers hit on Monday, he's holding up one finger too many. Still, the total of four homers from Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland, however, was the big reason why Yu Darvish went home a winner.

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Quote of the Day: "We're not hitting the ball hard  enough to score runs." — Phillies manager Charlie Manual after his team fell to 1-3 with a 6-2 loss to the Marlins. (Philadelphia has scored a total of eight runs over its first four games.)

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Three facts for the water cooler

• The fans chanting "undefeated! undefeated!" at Citi Field might still be a bit premature, but the Mets are 4-0 for the first time since 2007 after a 4-3 win over the Nationals

• The Braves are 0-4 for the first time since 1988, when they lost 10 straight to start the year.

• The Twins are 0-4 after their loss to the Angels and have yet to hold a lead in 2012.

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Make sure you're ready for the season ahead ...
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