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The Juice: Braves survive close shave after Heyward's clutch hit

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Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts down in ATL, where it's been at least five minutes since Jason Heyward(notes) did something exciting.

Game of the Day: Braves 4, Rockies 3

Down a run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Braves loaded the bases and Heyward watched four pitches go by — two balls and two strikes — just to amp up the drama.

He hit No. 5 from Franklin Morales(notes) into left field for a two-run, game-ending single.

"He only had the one swing, but it was a good one," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

Heyward seems to make them count: His first swing in the majors went for a home run.

Martin Prado(notes) scored the tying run, Brooks Conrad(notes) (different than this guy) scored the winner and Heyward was mobbed like the 20-year-old rock star he is. Eric Hinske(notes) later applied some makeup, giving Heyward's head a shaving cream base.

"You don't get shaving cream after you lose," said Heyward, who is batting .302 with 15 RBIs — second in the NL.

The mob scene happened a day after Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) threw the first no-hitter in club history. It took the Braves one batter to get a hit Sunday and Morales' ninth inning was disastrous rather than celebratory.

Morales allowed a leadoff single, balked a runner to second and walked the next man. When it looked as if the Rockies had turned a game-ending double play, Morales' poor footwork at first base resulted in a safe call.

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A four-pitch walk to Yunel Escobar(notes) (it's as if Morales was trying to get to Heyward) set up the reigning NL Rookie of the Moment. Rox pitchers walked 11 on the day.

"That's a lot of baserunners," manager Jim Tracy said. "We were fighting against odds we created for ourselves."

Huston Street(notes) can't come back soon enough.

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They Also Played

Marlins 2, Phillies 0: Dan Uggla(notes) drives in two and — wow — Nate Robertson(notes) outduels Cole Hamels(notes). Well, the scouts warned us it might take the NL half a season to adjust to Robertson's glasses.

Rays 7, Red Sox 1: I know a lot of people didn't like Theo Epstein's offseason but did anyone account for the Red Sox being mediocre, or even bad? Bill James, speak up!

Brewers 11, Nationals 7: The Nats were getting so cocky with a 6-5 record that they spotted the Brüe Crüe 10 runs in the first inning. That's the only explanation for Jason Marquis'(notes) startling starting pitching performance: four singles, two hit batters, one walk, totaling seven runs and no outs.

Angels 3, Blue Jays 1: A Halos sweep. Are the Jays freaking out because of their impending move to Caracas? Really, it's not so different from Toronto, boys.

Dodgers 2, Giants 1: The previous time Manny Ramirez(notes) hit a pinch homer, it came on his own bobblehead night. This time, it was just to mess with the Giants. And after Barry Zito(notes) pitched so well, too.

Yankees 5, Rangers 2: He was talking about his own team, but this quote from Joe Girardi makes him sound like an astrologer: "Everything's going your way right now." Hmm ... wonder what else is in the cosmic profile for Taurus?

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Cardinals 5, Mets 3: Way to keep it under 20 innings this time, boys. But all Rod Barajas(notes) (right) wants to know is "Wha? Wha?"

Orioles 8, Athletics 3: Dave Trembley was being funny, but this sounds like gallows humor in the wake of a nine-game losing streak.

"We've been facing Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale since the start of the season. They've been reincarnated every time we've played," Trembley joked. "It's great for the fans and good for the team. Now we can go for the pennant drive."

Pirates 5, Reds 3: Not a sweep — call it a three-game swab, because they're Pirates. The Bucs have been outscored 75-53 and they're 7-5. This is not going to last, so enjoy it, mateys. Yearrrgh!

Royals 10, Twins 5: Sure, the game's over on paper — but is a lead ever really safe from the Royals bullpen?

Padres 5, D-backs 3: Arizona's pen blows another lead and the Padres sweep as Chase "Lamar" Headley gets a second game-winning hit in three games. It leads him to say: "I think it reaffirms that we believe we're a good team. I know nobody believes us ... " That last part is literally true.

Indians 7, White Sox 3: He struck out nine times in his first five games, but ever since he chatted with a friend, Shin-Soo Choo(notes) has been hitting like ... a fine luxury automobile? He will explain.

"He said, 'Choo, you have a nice car and don't worry about the tires or engine, right? It is the same with you. You have the talent so don't worry and just go drive the baseball.' That's what I try to do," Choo said.

Astros 3, Cubs 2 (10 inn.): The Cubs messed with the Blackhawks' mojo by organizing a team field trip to the NHL playoffs Friday night. They also apparently forgot to get picked up from the United Center. Two losses in a row to the 'Stros? Puh-leez!

Tigers 4, Mariners 2: After a college coach told Max Scherzer(notes) to calm the heck down, he got more fired up. Is he a child of the '90s, or what? Go to bed, old man!

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