Big League Stew

The Juice: Cards score three on John Axford in ninth to beat Brewers, Ryan Howard goes deep

David Brown
Big League Stew

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.

Kind of like 2011: Trailing by two runs in the ninth and down to their final strike more than once, the St. Louis Cardinals pieced together a rally against Brewers closer John Axford and came away with an unlikely 3-2 victory at Miller Park. Axford's command was off, as he walked a pair and allowed a single to load the bases with two outs for Matt Holliday, who hit a well-placed two-run single to right, tying the score. Allen Craig, his pet turtle no doubt rooting him on, followed with a bloop single to score the go-ahead run. Not only that, but Axford really needs a haircut.

Phinally streaking: The Phillies have won three in a row for the first time since May after beating the Dodgers 3-2. Ryan Howard, freshly returned from healing his Achilles injury, went opposite field for his first home run of the season and Joe Blanton pitched eight sound innings for Philly.

Pirates rally in ninth, but...: Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez came through with a tying three-run homer in the ninth at Coors Field, but the Rockies came right back in the bottom of the inning with a rally, completed by Dexter Fowler hitting a sacrifice fly for a 5-4 Colorado victory. Alvarez's homer came after an annoying 53-minute rain delay. The Bucs have dropped three of four.

Youk got what I need, except the win: Kevin Youkilis returned to Boston, got a nice ovation from his former home crowd and came away three hits, but the Red Sox won 5-1 mostly on the strength of Adrian Gonzalez's three-run homer in the eighth inning. Youkilis was really the only White Sock to solve Boston starter Aaron Cook.

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Quote of the Day: ''We've been taking a few beatings lately. It's nice to be on this side of one" — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, after Minnesota beat the Orioles 19-7.

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Photo of the Day: Hey, clear the shot, Peter Gammons.

View photo

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(AP)

With Boston icon Peter Gammons photobombing, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz prepare to shake hands before Youk's return to Fenway Park. Ortiz, in an unrelated moment, injured his right Achilles tendon running the bases and needs an MRI.

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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• The Reds fell 5-3 to the Diamondbacks, and Cincinnati will be without slugger Joey Votto for up to a month because of surgery to clean up torn cartilage in his left knee.

• The Blue Jays await an MRI on Jose Bautista, who injured his left wrist hitting a foul ball in the eighth inning. X-rays were negative, and Bautista sounded optimistic, but he had to leave the game and the Jays have been unlucky this season with injuries.

• The Tampa Bay Rays turned a club-record five double plays in a 3-2 loss to Cleveland. Second baseman Will Rhymes had a hand in all of them.

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