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The Juice: Dice-K lingers long enough for Rays to jump Red Sox

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts at Tropicana Field, where a changing of the second-place guard in the AL East was taking place.

Game of the Day: Rays 6, Red Sox 5

Rolled with Dice: Terry Francona let Daisuke Matsuzaka(notes) hang around for what seemed like eternity (but it was actually 113 pitches over five-plus innings) and the Rays clawed their way back from a four-run deficit.

The big hit: John Jaso(notes) (sounds like "Jae Seo") lined a two-run single to tie the score in the sixth.

The big catch: Carl Crawford(notes) gets after it.

One, big happy family: B.J. Upton(notes) came off the bench to score the go-ahead run in the seventh. Skipper Joe Maddon sat him at first because of his poor record against Dice-K (1 for 13) and said he plans to start Upton the rest of the homestand. That's not good enough for B.J., who wanted to pout anyway.

"I thought I was an everyday player," Upton said. "I don't know if I'm subject to matchups now or not. I'm not going to get too bent out of shape about it, but obviously I want to be out there every day."

Beej makes himself sound like one of those kids who needs to be adopted into a good home. Jeez, Bossman. Get some hits and you won't have to worry about not starting once in a while.

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They Also Played ...

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Reds 8, Mets 6: Mike Pelfrey(notes) and Jerry Manuel (right) became completely unglued in their own respective ways following what seemed to be a long and spiritually fulfilling conversation among the umpires.

The blue men reversed a call, awarding Scott Rolen(notes) first base on a hit-by-pitch that forced in a run, after ruling something completely different at first. It's the new way of the umps. Don't try to understand. ... Oh, and Joey Votto(notes) leads the majors in home runs now, after hitting two more, but he is still not on any All-Star team.

Tigers 12, Orioles 9: If aliens came down to judge baseball based on the first two innings — which lasted 80 minutes and required 145 pitches — they would have gotten back in their spaceship and tried another planet. That would have been OK with Tigers manager Jim Leyland, whose team led 8-6 after two and, quite frankly, didn't need the added pressure of First Contact right then.

Yankees 3, Athletics 1: Javier Vazquez's(notes) ERA was 8.01 on May 17. Now, it's 4.81. ... It's like a win for Ben Sheets(notes), who went 7 1/3 innings in a game in July. Usually, his season's over by now.

Cubs 9, D-backs 4: Tom Gorzelanny(notes): Six walks in five innings. Cliff Lee(notes): Six walks in 103 2/3 innings this season.

Giants 6, Brewers 1: It was all Alcides Escobar's(notes) fault.

Phillies 3, Braves 1: Another complete game for Roy Halladay(notes), who reminds me of Jack Morris for some reason. Maybe what we all thought Jack Morris was, but wasn't quite. What Jack Morris could have been, were he better. Who Jack Morris was supposed to be! Who we thought he was! Crown him!

Marlins 6, Dodgers 5: Nate Robertson's(notes) glasses improved to 6-6. John Ely(notes) has some adjustin' to do in a league that's adjusted to him.

White Sox 9, Angels 2: The Angels looked so jet-lagged at times, I think Torii Hunter(notes) played the game still belted to his airplane seat. ... Not only does Carlos Quentin(notes) have seven homers and 16 RBIs in his past 13 games, he made this catch. It prompted White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson to say, "You've got to be bleeping me! Mercy!"

Agreed. Have you seen the trailers for the "Inception" moie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Alfred the Butler from "Batman"? There are dream sequences where men move impossibly through the air — that's what this catch looked like.

Indians 9, Rangers 3: Ow! Matt LaPorta's(notes) poor head. He was taken for a CT scan and it was negative. Or, as Yogi Berra would say, "X-rays showed nothing." Har-har!

Royals 6, Mariners 4 (10 inn.): Just counting down until the inevitable trade of Cliff Lee.

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