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Big League Stew

The Juice: Brandon Crawford’s grand debut lifts Giants to win

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Nine innings, nine items to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.

1. Not a bad first impression: Filling in for the injured Mike Fontenot, Brandon Crawford provided some immediate punch for the San Francisco Giants scuffling offense, and made a little history in the process. In the seventh inning, Crawford became the sixth player in history to hit a grand slam in his first major league game. (Daniel Nava did it for the Boston Red Sox last season.)

"It was all unreal," Crawford said, recalling how he felt as he rounded the bases. "Awesome. I mean, I still kind of have the jitters about it."

Crawford's slam gave San Francisco their first lead of the night. They would ultimately hold on to a 5-4 victory, snapping the Milwaukee Brewers six-game winning streak, but not before they endured a scary flashback to Buster Posey's devastating injury on Wednesday.

2. Even more violent contact: Eli Whiteside and Prince Fielder had a big run-in during that contest in Milwaukee, but another game was decided on a high-speed collision eerily similar to Posey's. This time it came in Houston, where Arizona's Ryan Roberts barreled through Astros catcher Humberto Quintero with the game-tying run. As the ball squirted away, Kelly Johnson came home with the go-ahead run as the Diamondbacks completed a furious comeback to win 7-6. Quintero was placed on the 15-day DL immediately after the game with a sprained right ankle.

3. Simply Bourjos: Peter Bourjos kept his Los Angeles Angels alive when he robbed Jim Thome of career home run No. 594. I bet he wouldn't have robbed Thome if he hit it here. Bourjos then led an offensive comeback, scoring the first run in the eighth, and the game-winner after tripling to leadoff the ninth, as the Angels stunned the Twins, 6-5.

4. Heads up, Cleveland down: David Price set a new career high, striking out 12 in the Rays' 5-0 blanking of the Cleveland Indians. It's a good thing he was missing bats most of the night, because the ones he didn't were dangerous flying objects. Specifically, Grady Sizemore's broken bat grounder that resulted in a large piece of the bat clipping the back of Price's head.

The good news is Price is alright and was able to finish the inning. The bad news is we're only one swing away from holding our breath again. {YSP:MORE}

5. Plugging a Leake: In his return from the minors, Mike Leake became the first Cincinnati Reds starter to notch a victory since May 16 in thier 5-1 win over Atlanta. He did so with six innings of one-run ball, while scattering seven hits and three walks.

6. Am-Bushed: Melky Cabrera, Eric Hosmer and Brayan Pena all homered off Dave Bush in the 14th inning, leading the Kansas City Royal to a 12-7 win over the Texas Rangers. Extra innings were necessary because Rangers closer Neftali Feliz allowed a game-tying solo homer to Alex Gordon in the ninth. That's Feliz's third blown save of the season. All three at the hands of the Royals.

7. Co-leaders in the clubhouse: Opening day starter Kevin Correia tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings en route to his seventh win, tying him with Boston's Jon Lester for the major league lead, as the Pittsburgh Pirates knocked off the Chicago Cubs, 4-2.

8. Searching for rock bottom: The tailspin of the Colorado Rockies and Ubaldo Jimenez continued with a 10-3 loss to the St. Cardinals. Jimenez falls to 0-5 after allowing 12 hits and 6 runs over 6 innings. If you take away their 11-2 start, Colorado is 14-36 in their last 50 games dating back to Sept. 18, 2010. Jimenez's last win came on Sept. 17, 2010.

9. A ground out's as good as a hit: At least that's the philosophy the Seattle Mariners lived by in their 4-3 win over the New York Yankees. All four of Seattle's runs were scored on groundballs that never left the infield, and each resulted in an out being recorded. Some call it small ball. Whatever it is Eric Wedge will take it, though I'm sure somewhere Earl Weaver is shaking his head disapprovingly.

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