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The Juice: Brandon Crawford’s homer in 11th sinks Braves, Matt Kemp’s blast in 12th stops Philly momentum

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(AP)

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.

Last man not standing: Brandon Crawford fell to the ground after fouling a ball off his right knee. There were no position players left on the Giants bench, so if he couldn't continue, a pitcher would have to finish his at-bat. Steadying himself and wasting no time, Crawford stayed in the game and sent the next pitch from Atlanta's Chad Durbin over the fence for a go-ahead three-run home run. Crawford's second homer of the season highlighted (but didn't cap the scoring in) a wild 9-4 victory in 11 innings against the Braves.

Gregor Blanco added another three-run home run in the 11th to give the Giants a cushion that Brad Penny did not blow, as closer Santiago Casilla had wasted a two-run lead in the 10th. No matter, the Giants have won five straight.

Matt Valuable Player: Cliff Lee and Clayton Kershaw dueled through eight innings before the Phillies broke through to take a two-run lead in the 10th. But Jonathan Papelbon could not keep the Dodgers from tying the score, and Matt Kemp finally put Philly away with a two-run, game-ending homer in the 12th for a 5-3 victory. Four-game losing streak ends for L.A., four-game winning streak ends for Philly.

Another walkoff right here: In case you wanted more game-ending excitement, Billy Butler of the Royals is here for you. After taking a pitch from Josh Kinney, be drilled the next one over the fence for a solo home run and an 8-7 Kansas City Royals victory against the Mariners. How kind of him to put everyone out of their misery!

Zimmermannia: He's only got a 7-6 record, which is why decisions for pitchers are stupid. Jordan Zimmermann of the Nationals lowered his ERA to 2.35 after pitching six shutout innings in a 4-3 victory against the Mets. Adam LaRoche hit a two-run homer and the Mets held another team meeting before losing their sixth straight game. No matter, right-hander Miguel Batista says: New York will prevail in the end.

K-Rod audition continues: He's the closer for the Brewers, who are kind of, sort of, still in the pennant race. But in case they decide to sell, Francisco Rodriguez is showing off what he still can do in ninth innings: Give free heart attacks. Rodriguez got the save for the Brewers in a 4-3 victory against the Cardinals, but he walked a tightrope to do it by walking in a run. He is two for two in save situations after John Axford got demoted, which is why saves also are dumb.

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Quote of the Day: ''They'd rather face me than Jeter, Curtis, Alex and Cano'' — Dewayne Wise of the Yankees, who drove in two runs in a 6-0 rain-shortened victory against the Blue Jays.

Quote of the Day II: ''I think it was just an anomaly" — Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson, after allowing seven runs, eight hits and five walks in a 7-2 loss to the Tigers.

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Photo of the Day:

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(AP)

Reflections in Andrew McCutchen's glasses.



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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• The Pirates slugged four homers and beat the Rockies 9-6, improving to 44-0 when leading after seven innings. It's not that uncommon of a record, but it sounds great!

• The Oakland Athletics have won 10 of 12 after Brandon Hicks' walkoff home run — his first as a major leaguer — beat the Rangers 4-3. The A's host the New York Yankees for four games starting Thursday night.

• Cody Ross of the Red Sox hit a three-run homer in two consecutive innings to help blow out the White Sox 10-1.

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