Big League Stew

The Juice: Haren shuts out Yankees, Angels tighten AL West

Ian Casselberry
Big League Stew

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Nine innings and nine items to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.

1. Dan the man: For the second straight game, the New York Yankees were shut down by Los Angeles Angels pitching. Jered Weaver held the Yanks to one run on Friday, but Dan Haren one-upped him by pitching a complete game shutout.

It wasn't the best Yankees lineup, with Eric Chavez starting at third base and Eduardo Nunez getting the call in right field. That didn't provide much support for CC Sabathia, who allowed one run in six innings and was looking for his 20th win of the season.

With their 6-0 victory, the Angels are once again 1 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers for the AL West lead.

2. That's a hit! The AL West might not be the only playoff race, after all. Do the Tampa Bay Rays still have a chance? Kyle Farnsworth blew a two-run lead by serving up back-to-back jacks to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jacoby Ellsbury in the ninth inning. But Evan Longoria's RBI single in the 11th gave the Rays a 6-5 win against the Boston Red Sox. Tampa Bay is now 4 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL wild card standings.

3. Not fade away: The wild card race in the NL might have a pulse, too. The St. Louis Cardinals knocked around Derek Lowe for four runs and nine hits over six innings, and held on for a 4-3 victory against the Atlanta Braves. That pulled the Cards to 5 1/2 games of the NL wild card lead. They're six games behind the Brewers in the NL Central.

4. The Bell tolled: Watching footage of Luis Gonzalez's World Series-winning hit from 2001 must have pumped up the Arizona Diamondbacks. Soon after the video played in Chase Field, Chris Young and Lyle Overbay hit consecutive home runs off Heath Bell to tie the score at 5-5 in the ninth. Overbay struck again in the 10th, drawing a bases-loaded walk to bring in the game-winner, as the D-Backs beat the San Diego Padres, 6-5.

5. Almost clinched: Not that it was ever in doubt, but the Philadelphia Phillies almost have their playoff spot sewn up. Raul Ibanez came around to score on LaTroy Hawkins' throwing error, helping the Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-2, in 10 innings. With a win on Sunday and a loss by the Cardinals, Philadelphia will officially be in the postseason. {YSP:MORE}

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6. Humidor not working? The Cincinnati Reds hit five home runs off Alex White, two of them by Chris Heisey. Yet they still lost to the Colorado Rockies, 12-7, as Bronson Arroyo gave up six runs in just one inning of work. The Reds' bullpen allowed six more runs, while the Rockies' relief corps pitched four scoreless innings.

7. Mikey no likey: Michael Pineda pitched well enough to win for the fourth straight start. The rookie allowed three runs and five hits over eight innings. But the Seattle Mariners' lineup couldn't do much against Felipe Paulino, scoring just two runs and striking out 11 times. That helped the Kansas City Royals to a 4-2 win.

8. Ryan's cryin' for runs: Also victimized by poor run support of late has been Ryan Vogelsong. He's allowed three runs or fewer in his past six starts, but only earned one win since the San Francisco Giants can't score for him. Dana Eveland shut the Giants out for seven innings, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers put another nail in their rival's playoff chances. With the 3-0 loss, the Giants have scored only four runs for Vogelsong in his past five outings.

9. Inge-pressive: With two outs in the ninth, Brandon Inge launched a solo home run off Glen Perkins to give the Detroit Tigers a walkoff 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins. Inge had come into the game as a defensive replacement for Wilson Betemit, who homered earlier. It's his second walkoff homer since being recalled from Class AAA Toledo in mid-August.

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