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The Juice: Cruz fools Damon in 11th, homers in 14th, Rangers win

Big League Stew

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Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts at Comerica Park in Detroit, though Ian Kinsler(notes) said it was more like "Sparta" out there. Rangers pitcher Dustin Nippert(notes) (above, dazed) was in no position to disagree.

Game of the Day: Rangers 8, Tigers 6 (14 inn.):

"300" innings: They traded punches, including one to Nippert's head, and Nelson Cruz(notes) even threw in a key fake on Johnny Damon(notes) before knocking out the Tigers with an opposite-field blow in the 14th. Cruz drove in four runs to trump two home runs by Detroit's Miguel Cabrera(notes), and Texas lefty Matt Harrison(notes) kept the Tigers off the scoreboard for four innings of extras.

Via MLB.com:

"This game was like the movie '300,'" Kinsler said, referring to a film about the ancient Spartans. "Take no prisoners. Give them nothing. Take everything."

Punk'd: The Tigers missed a chance to escape with a victory in the 11th.

After leading off from second base, Damon was fooled by, among other things, Cruz putting up his glove in right field on a sinking liner hit by Brennan Boesch(notes) that should have scored a run. Usually an alert baserunner, Damon found himself victimized by circumstances.

Watch Johnny get lost

"Boesch took a full swing," Damon said. "He hit the ball off the end of the bat. When I looked up, the ball was in the lights some. He was deking me. I couldn't get a great read on it. I knew we were still in a pretty good situation to win the game right there. But the one thing that we didn't want to happen there, happened."

Cruz couldn't believe the fake worked.

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"I was joking with [outfield coach Gary Pettis]," Cruz (right) said. "That never works, but tonight it finally worked in a game."

Still, the Tigers had the bases loaded and one out. Until Carlos Guillen(notes) grounded into a double play. Gah!

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Hands down, head's up: That wasn't the only bad break for Detroit: Brandon Inge(notes) (right) suffered a broken left hand after being hit with a pitch by Scott Feldman(notes) in the third. Inge is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

The Rangers tried to top the injury drama when Nippert took an Austin Jackson(notes) line drive off his head in the sixth. No concussion (or, as Yogi Berra would say, "X-rays showed nothing"). But it was scary.

Thumb: And Ron Washington was ejected for screaming like Gerard Butler. Don't get any saliva on John Hirschbeck!

Hey, that was kinda like Sparta!

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They Also Played...

Brewers 3, Pirates 1: Idea for Ken Macha: Don't make Chris Capuano(notes) wait six weeks for another start.

White Sox 6, Mariners 1: Granted, he might as well have been facing the Tacoma Rainiers, but rookie right-hander Daniel Hudson(notes) gave the White Sox exactly they needed.

Cardinals 8, Phillies 4: Albert Pujols(notes), Allen Craig(notes) (there he is again!) Skip Schumaker(notes) and Randy Winn(notes) all homered in a six at-bat span against Kyle Kendrick(notes). Whenever something like that happens, I always think Kendrick has expatriation to Japan in the back of his mind.

As for Allen Craig-Allen, I think he's becoming to the Cardinals as George Glass was to Jan Brady. He's one of the nicest boys, but is he real?

Giants 5, Dodgers 2: Madison Bumgarner(notes) > Bums.

Royals 5, Blue Jays 4 (10 inn.): You can't stop the Royals from rallying in the ninth, fools. They lead the majors in batting average!

Reds 7, Nationals 2: With both teams coming off 1-0 losses, something (maybe) had to give. It was the Gnats. As soon as pitcher Johnny Cueto(notes) knocked in two runs, you knew Warshington's o-fense would have a hard time overcoming it.

Indians 10, Twins 4: What are the Indians doing, affecting the pennant race like this in unexpected ways?

Marlins 9, Rockies 8: Looked like the Rox were going to get away with one after Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) departed his shortest outing of the season. Not so fast, pinch-hitter Donnie Murphy(notes) says. With two outs in the ninth, he unloaded for a two-run deep against Huston Street(notes) for a miraculous Marlins victory.

Donnie Murphy, Daniel Murphy(notes) and David Murphy(notes). I want an '82 Fleer card done up with all three of them on it.

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Red Sox 2, Athletics 1: Wicked stuff, Dice-K. He's really lowered his ERA nicely. It had been orbiting the Earth in May.

Astros 11, Cubs 5: Are the happy times over for Carlos Silva(notes) in the NL? That's two bad ones in a row. Three makes it a trend.

Rays 8, Orioles 1: Letdown, schmetdown.

D-backs 13, Mets 2: Mike Smelfrey is more like it.

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