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Big League Stew

The Juice: Dodgers win in Kershaw’s return to keep wild card pace, Tigers drop pair to Twins

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.

Dodgers double up: Adrian Gonzalez connected for a pair of home runs to help the Dodgers beat the Reds 5-3 and remain three games back in the NL wild-card hunt. Gonzalez has three home runs in 27 games since getting traded. Oh, boy. And Clayton Kershaw's season is not over, not yet, because he pitched five innings in a rusty return from a hip injury that had threatened to shut him down. So it's kind of hard to tell how "good" all of this news is for L.A.

So where are we?: Here are the wild-card standings, with elimination numbers, for your convenience.

Tiger trouble: Tigers manager Jim Leyland insisted he wasn't disappointed his team dropped a doubleheader against the Twins and missed an opportunity to move into first place in the AL Central. They're a game behind the White Sox with 10 to play, Leyland said, and he's factually correct. There's no sense dwelling on it when there will be plenty of time to dwell later, perhaps?

Braves on brink: Atlanta is one game away from clinching a playoff spot after beating the Phillies 2-1, with Tim Hudson tossing two-hit ball over 7 1/3 innings. A year ago, the Braves squandered a double-digit lead in the season's final month and missed the playoffs. So it could happen again! But it's quite unlikely. Atlanta also moved within 4 1/2 of first place because Washington lost, but c'mon.

Halo opportunity: Jered Weaver picked up his 19th personal victory and the Angels stayed within 2 1/2 of the A's for the second wild-card spot after beating the White Sox 4-1 to complete a three-game sweep. Albert Pujols hit a two-run double to reach 100 RBI status for the 11th time in 12 seasons. Pitcher's wins and RBIs — they're misleading and they don't tell us as much as we'd like, but they're still cool enough to note. The White Sox? Oy. Five losses in a row, but they still control their own fate. (Yikes!)

AL East leaders: The Yankees fell 5-4 to the A's, with Oakland salvaging a game in the Bronx. Up the Eastern Seaboard at Boston, the Red Sox beat the Orioles 2-1, surviving a rally in the ninth. Ryan Flaherty struck out with the bases loaded, meaning the O's don't sweep, don't move into first. It's all your fault, Ryan! So the division remains quo.

[MLB Full Count: Watch live look-ins and highlights for free all season long]

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Quote of the Day:

''I'm tired right now. Sorry" — Miguel Cabrera, after being asked about the state of the Tigers after getting swept by the Twins.

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Photo of the Day: Ginger promises.

View photo

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Will Ryan Hanigan catch this ball? Ryan Hanigan will ... NOT catch this ball. (Getty Images)

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Three Facts for the Water Cooler

• B.J. Upton went deep for the eighth time in 14 games, helping the Rays keep hope alive with a 3-0 victory against Toronto at Tropicana Field.

• The Cardinals got a home run from Pete Kozma, a good thing because Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran missed the game with injuries. St. Louis beat the Cubs 6-3 for its sixth victory in seven games.

The Brewers have won 25 of 32 after beating the Nationals 6-2. They're hanging around the wild-card leaders.

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