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The Juice: Daniel Nava’s eighth inning home run caps emotional victory for Red Sox

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Boston Strong: An emotional day at Fenway Park ended on a pair of high notes. The first, of course, was the entire stadium singing along with Neil Diamond as he performed “Sweet Caroline” down the right field line in the middle of the eighth inning. The second, was Daniel Nava’s two-out, three-run homer in the bottom half that gave Boston a 4-2 lead.

Andrew Bailey would come in to lock things down in the ninth, but not before Lorenzo Cain’s solo home run narrowed it down to the eventual final score of 4-3. Clay Buchholz, who tossed eight innings of two-run ball, gets the victory to become the American League’s first four-game winner. A big day for him individually and the team as a whole, but obviously it was much bigger for the city of Boston.

Daniel Nava acknowledged as much after the victory.

''Knowing everything that went into the day for the city, for us to get the win, it came in a special way, special fashion,'' Nava said. ''It made it all that more important.''

David Ortiz, who caused quite a stir with his pregame comments, added.

''I think today was different because we haven't been through what we've been through this past week,'' Ortiz said. ''Driving around and looking around at people's faces, it was a very emotional day here just looking at those guys that were injured by those bombs going off and watching the news nearly every day, it was painful, very painful. Today I could see people opening their chest and letting it go.''

Let it go they did, and it was a lot of fun to watch.

Twice as nice for Bryce: For Bryce Harper, home runs tend to come in twos. That’s what happened on Saturday, when the 20-year-old outfielder delivered his fourth two homer game in just under one full season at the big league level.

The first was a two-run shot off Jeremy Hefner in the third inning. That put Washington on top 3-0. His second, a solo shot of Josh Edgin in the eighth, was the difference maker that gave the Nats their 7-6 win. Washington also needed home runs from Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond to help overcome a rare lousy outing from Gio Gonzalez (four innings, five runs).

Speaking of those phenoms: Mike Trout’s first career grand slam capped a nine-run first inning for the Los Angeles Angels as they rolled over Rick Porcello and the Tigers, 10-0. It was Trout's second hit of the inning — he singled earlier — and second run scored. Peter Bourjos had two singles himself in the first and also scored twice.

Browns outlast Texans: It was a cold December Sunday in Cle... no, wait, my apologizes. Cleveland scored 19. That's way too much for this to be a football score. Let me try again.

It was a pleasant Saturday in Houston, though not so much for Philip Humber and the Astros pitching staff as they surrendered 19 runs to the Cleveland Indians.

I know, that doesn't sounds very believable either, but it happened. Now digest this: Eight of those runs came off Humber in the very first inning before he could record a second out. That's right, he retired one batter just one day before celebrating the one-year anniversary of his perfect game in Seattle. And it's quite possible he pitched his way out of a big league job in the process.

MORE SCORES

Orioles 7, Dodgers 5; Orioles 6, Dodgers 1: Baltimore's clean sweep pushes the Dodgers losing streak to six.

Reds 3, Marlins 2 (13 inn.): Shin-Soo Choo reaches base six times and Brandon Phillips delivers the walkoff sacrifice fly on his own bobblehead day.

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3 (11 inn.): A two-run throwing error by reliever Aaron Loup gives New York the edge. Surprisingly, they didn’t homer.

Twins 2, White Sox 1 (10 inn.): The extra inning bonanza continues with Minnesota taking advantage of a throwing error by Alexei Ramirez to plate the winner.

Pirates 3, Braves 1: Pittsburgh's strong starting pitching continues.

Cardinals 5, Phillies 0: Philadelphia managed one hit against Lance Lynn.

Brewers 5, Cubs 1: Milwaukee has quietly won six straight to get back to .500 (8-8).

Rays 1, A's 0: A home run from Matt Joyce and some trickery from Desmond Jennings.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3: Eight in a row for Colorado, who now tie Atlanta for the best record in baseball at 13-4.

Rangers 5, Mariners 0: Another starting pitcher injury presses Derek Lowe into action.

Giants 2, Padres 0: Apparently the offense didn't make it out west.

"It was a complete emotional roller coaster, to where we have a moment of silence for the people that aren't here to a couple seconds later applauding the heroes. And then a baseball game breaks out."
— Jonny Gomes on the atmosphere at Fenway Park on Saturday.

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(Tampa Bay Rays)

When things aren't going as planned, Rays manager Joe Maddon calls on DJ Fresh for a little inspiration.

• The Giants are 4-0 in Tim Lincecum's four starts this season. It took them 18 Lincecum starts to win four times in 2012.

• The Padres are 1-10 against teams not named the Los Angeles Dodgers.

• Speaking of the Dodgers, they've now lost six straight games in April for the first time since 1993.

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