The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday (and now on Saturdays) for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.
Medlen dominates, Braves walkoff: The emergence of Kris Medlen reached a new highpoint with his career-high thirteen strikeout (eight looking) performance on Friday night. Medlen would allow only one earned run over seven innings and ended up with a no-decision for his efforts. But the Braves did eventually breakthrough in the ninth inning on an Ian Desmond throwing error which allowed Tyler Pastornicky to score the game-winner in the 2-1 victory.
With that result, the Braves have now won 20 straight games started by Medlen. That includes all nine of his starts this season and his final eleven starts back in 2010. The last starting to reach that number was Rogers Clemens back in 2001 as a member of the New York Yankees.
A's before O's: At least that's how it played out in the opener of this weekend's most surprisingly important series. Rookie Yoenis Cespedes, who was questionable to even play after injuring his right wrist on Thursday, delivered the game's difference-making blow, a two-run homer off Joe Saunders in the fourth. Starter Tommy Milone and Oakland's strong bullpen kept it that way as the Athletics escaped with a 3-2 win, which handed the Orioles only their eighth loss in 35 one-run games.
Untouchable: As expected, Thursday's rainout in Chicago had no affect on the unflappable Justin Verlander. The reigning AL MVP and Cy Young was every bit of both when taking the mound on Friday in Cleveland, tossing seven shutout innings and striking out six in the Tigers 4-0 victory over the Indians. What is surprising though is this was only Verlander's first win in Cleveland in three starts this season, and his first road victory since July 15.
Raise the blue W: Starlin Castro connected for a three-run sixth inning homer and Chris Rusin earned his first career as the Cubs upended the Pirates 7-4 at Wrigley Field. The win is Chicago's fourth straight over Pittsburgh dating back to their sweep at PNC Park last weekend. But the numbers get worse for Pittsburgh as they've now lost seven in a row, 11 out of 13 overall, and ten straight on the road.
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Quote of the Day: ''When you start thinking about things like that you get a little selfish, and what's really important slips away. I want to play for this team. I'm not trying to win any awards or anything like that. The only award I want is a big, shiny trophy at the end.''
- White Sox left-hander Chris Sale on being in the hunt for the American League Cy Young after their 6-0 win over the Twins. Sale threw six scoreless innings in the victory, which kept Chicago alone in first in the AL Central and improved his record to 17-6 on the season.
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Photo of the Day: He's human.Angels 9-7 win over the Royals. If that doesn't convince you, he only managed two hits in six at bats against Kansas City pitching and also struck out not once, but TWICE.
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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:
• The Cincinnati Reds were shutout 4-0 by rookie Justin Turner and the Miami Marlins. That marks the third time the Reds have been shutout this season, which is the fewest in the National League.
• Jimmy Rollins started the Phillies 12-6 victory over the Astros with a home run, giving him 42 lead-off homers in his career. That's places him fifth all-time.
• In the Rangers 9-3 win over the Mariners, Yu Darvish became the first Texas pitcher since Nolan Ryan in 1990 to throw at least seven innings while allowing three hits or less in three consecutive starts. He also won his 15th game of the season and struck out his 200th hitter.
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- Kris Medlen