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Big League Stew

The Juice: Clayton Kershaw dominates in emotional outing, Dodgers still fall on Buster Posey walkoff homer

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Pitching with a heavy heart following the passing of his father, Clayton Kershaw couldn't top his historic opening day performance against San Francisco. He came pretty darn close though, limiting the Giants to one run over eight innings. He was also good again with the bat, contributing a double.

''I was going to be back,'' Kershaw said of pitching on turn. ''It was good to get back and have everything and commemorate his life. But it was good to get back to baseball, too. It's weird watching games on TV.''

A commendable effort by Kershaw to be sure. On most days, it would have been more than enough to notch his fourth victory, but Barry Zito matched him pitch-for-pitch and then Buster Posey took matters into his own hands with a game-tying double in the sixth and a walkoff homer in the ninth.

Aroldis coaster: It doesn’t happen often, but Aroldis Chapman simply didn’t have his best stuff on Friday afternoon. Entering the game with a 6-2 lead, Chapman allowed three runs on four hits and two walks before giving way to J.J. Hoover. Fortunately for manager Dusty Baker, Hoover was able to put the fire out by striking out Darwin Barney to lock up the 6-5 victory.

Griffin plays guitar, overwhelms Yankees: After a pregame clubhouse concert in which he strummed his guitar and sang songs in English, Spanish and French to his Oakland A's teammates, A.J. Griffin went on to blank the New York Yankees for eight innings to help his squad pull out a 2-0 victory.

''It's a good way to just to kind of clear your mind and just get ready to go out there and play a ballgame,'' Griffin said. ''The one thing I just don't want is for people to just think I don't care. Obviously I care. That's kind of how I do it.''

Hey, whatever works. We're all different, but very few of us can say we've dominated the Yankees in the Bronx.

King Felix holds court in Canada: The Toronto Blue Jays have been the one team to constantly give Felix Hernandez fits over his brilliant nine-year career. Entering his start on Friday night at Rogers Centre, the King had posted a 3-4 record with a 5.13 ERA in nine career starts against them. By far those were his worst numbers against a team he's faced more than once, but they improved quite a bit in the span of two and a half hours as Hernandez tossed eight scoreless innings in Seattle's 4-0 win.

In fact, Hernandez was so filthy throughout his performance, his own catcher, Jesus Montero, was having just as much trouble hanging on to his late-breaking pitches as Blue Jays were connecting with them.

''Sometimes it's hard to catch him,'' Montero said. ''It's crazy, his talent is so great.''

Montero said there aren't many pitches in Hernandez's arsenal that are easy to handle.

''They're all tough, but the special one is the changeup,'' Montero said. ''It goes down like a split. That's why he strikes out so many guys.''

It's not often a pitcher can throw what's called by the catcher and still fool him. When you're on the other side of one those outings, especially from a guy like Hernandez, it's a good night if you manage to stay out of the history books.

MORE SCORES

Phillies 4, Marlins 1: Winning pitcher: Jonathan Pettibone. Save: Jonathan Papelbon.

Pirates 3, Nationals 1: Ace A.J. Burnett strikes out nine more — leads National League with 57.

Indians 7, Twins 6 (10 inn.): Cleveland extends winning streak to five, which is the longest they've had since winning seven straight in early 2011.

Mets 7, Braves 5 (12 inn.): David Wright tied it in the ninth with a two-run homer off Craig Kimbrel.

Rangers 7, Red Sox 0: Derek Holland blanked Boston over eight innings, extending his personal winning streak against them to five.

Cardinals 6, Brewers 1: Mike Matheny gets three scoreless innings from his depleted bullpen. Carlos Martinez and Seth Maness were contributors in their major league debuts.

Royals vs. White Sox (ppd, rain): We may be playing into December at this rate.

Tigers 4, Astros 3: Another competitive effort leads to another gut-wrenching defeat for Houston. Alex Avila's two-run, ninth-inning homer was the difference.

Rays 7, Rockies 4 (10 inn.): Matt Moore was roughed up a bit early but his offense picked him up and then broke through in extras.

Angels 3, Orioles 0: The night of dominant starting pitching continues as Jason Vargas hurled a complete game three-hitter.

Padres 7, Diamondbacks 6: Yonder Alonso crushed a go-ahead two-run homer off Wade Miley to turn the game around. San Diego then added three insurance runs late, which ended making the difference after closer Huston Street served up a three-run jack to Gerardo Parra.

''Right before going on deck, I said, 'Hey, do I need to bunt here if Matt Joyce walks?' (Martinez) goes, 'Bunt for a hit.' When Joyce popped out he immediately goes, 'Just hit a home run.'''

— Rays second baseman Kelly Johnson on his discussion with bench coach Dave Martinez prior to hitting a two-run home run in the tenth inning.

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(USA Today)

Security!

No, not really. No law-breaking here. Padres fans are simply competing during the team's steal-a-base promotion.

• Buster Posey's walkoff home run was his first walkoff hit of any kind in the big leagues.

• The Mets won a game in Atlanta in which they trailed in the ninth inning for the first time since September 18, 1993

• Adam Rosales became the second player to homer off CC Sabathia on his first pitch of the game. The first was Austin Jackson in 2010.

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