The Juice is going strong in 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.
Chipper's big night: Had you asked the question of whether Chipper Jones should renounce his retirement plans and return next season, you would have received nods from more than just the 33,157 fans in attendance at Turner Field. Thursday was bobblehead night for the Atlanta Braves legend and Jones responded in a big fashion clubbing two home runs in a 6-0 victory over the San Diego Padres. It was the 40th multihomer of the 40-year-old's career and the second blast was his 2,700th career hit.
Needless to say, his curtain call was applauded by both human and turnstile gimmick alike. (The promise of a Jones bobblehead brought out a bigger crowd than Tuesday and Wednesday's combined.)
''If we have to make some silly bobblehead things to get people in the stands, so be it. Keep doing it,'' Jones said, breaking into a big smile. ''We get motivated to play every night, but there are certain nights when it's special, whether certain family members are in the seats, or it's your birthday, or it's bobblehead night.''
Jones wasn't the only big Brave to finish strong against the Padres as the Dodgers come to town for a big weekend set. Jason Heyward hit his 20th homer of the season while Kris Medlen allowed only five hits for the first complete-game shutout of his career.
Now that's a comeback: Two outs away from leaving St. Louis as the victims of a three-game sweep, the Arizona Diamondbacks managed a quick turnaround. Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Young homered on consecutive pitches from Cardinals closer Jason Motte in the ninth inning, taking home a surprising 2-1 win from Busch Stadium. Goldschmidt's homer came on the ninth pitch of his at-bat while Young got right to business.
''Goldie came through huge for us and kind of took the pressure off me,'' Young said. ''At that point, for me, it was just go out and try to win the ballgame.''
Not in our house: Pittsburgh must have taken a giant sigh of relief after the Pirates' 10-6 victory over the Dodgers, a win that was keyed by two three-run home runs by Garrett Jones and A.J. Burnett becoming the first giant pitcher in 13 years to reach the 15-win mark. (Todd Ritchie had 15 in 1999.) The win allowed the Bucs to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of Los Angeles and also snapped a nine-game skid against the Dodgers.
Help for Harvey: If the Mets' offense was excited about last month's arrival of Matt Harvey, they certainly weren't showing it as the team managed a total of only six runs over the rookie's first four start. But they finally came around in Cincinnati on Thursday, doing their part in an 8-4 sweep-avoiding win over the Reds. Harvey showed his gratitude by turning in his longest outing yet — one run over 7 2/3 innings — and by contributing a two-run double of his own.
Homer happy: The White Sox hit five home runs in a 7-2 win over Toronto and none of them came from Adam Dunn, A .J. Pierzynski or Paul Konerko (who is expected to return from his concussion on Friday). Here's the longest of the bunch, an absolute mammoth shot by Tyler Flowers that Hit Tracker Online pegged at 470 feet.
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Quote of the day
''They said they were bringing us luck. After we started (behind) 2-0, I was looking for an early flight home.''
— Boston manager Bobby Valentine on John Henry, Thomas Werner and Larry Lucchino all traveling to Baltimore for Thursday's game. The Red Sox avoided a sweep with a 6-3 win over the Orioles.
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Photo of the day: Jon Rauch is tall
That is all.
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Three facts for the water cooler
• The Texas Rangers snapped an eight-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium and avoided a four-game sweep with a 10-6 victory over the Yankees.
• David Price is 8-0 with a 1.72 ERA over his last 11 starts. The Tampa Bay Rays ace allowed his team to bounce back from Wednesday's perfect game by allowing no runs and three hits over seven innings in a 7-0 walk over the Los Angeles Angels.
• Oakland's Dan Straily earned his first major league victory by pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a 3-0 win over the Royals.
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