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Big League Stew

The Juice: Late inning heroics help Rangers spoil Ubaldo’s debut

Mark Townsend
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. Home run and hustle: Down to their final out, the Texas Rangers received a game-tying ninth inning home run from Michael Young, which  forced extra innings and eliminated Ubaldo Jimenez's chance to win his Cleveland Indians debu. Then the Rangers turned to their legs to help them eek out a dramatic 8-7 victory in 11 innings.

With two men out and Elvis Andrus now stationed on second after a wild pitch, Josh Hamilton bounced a weak grounder to the left of shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Hamilton beat Cabrera's off-balance throw to first. Meanwhile, the aggressive Andrus never broke stride around third, and ended up sliding home easily with the game-winner.

"As soon as I saw the ground ball, I was going to take my chances," Andrus said. "When you see those chances, you have to try and score. Josh is a fast guy. I didn't look at anybody. As soon as I saw the ball hit that way, I knew that any time (Hamilton) hits that ball he's going to be safe."

Though Jimenez was in line for the victory, he labored throughout most of his 5+ innings, needing 108 pitches to record 15  outs. He struck out seven, walked three, and allowed five runs (all earned).

2. Adjust your ballpark standings flags: The New York Yankees have first place in the American League East all to themselves again after defeating the Boston Red Sox, 3-2. Yes, you read that correctly, a very rare pitcher's duel in this highly offensive rivalry. But don't worry, the game still took well over three hours to complete.

3. We're not at Petco anymore: In fact, over the past week PNC Park has played a lot closer to Coors Field in 1999 than anything resembling the San Diego Padres home park. After the Pirates pitching staff allowed 10 home runs to the Cubs during that stunning four-game sweep, they allowed four more to San Diego's anemic offense, including Chase Headley's first-pitch grand slam, and lost their eighth in a row, 15-5.

4. Light'em up: It appears the lighting at Minute Maid Park was sufficient enough for the Milwaukee Brewers as they manhandled the Houston Astros, 8-1.  That's good, but I do often wonder how much more attractive Astros baseball would be if it was played in the dark. {YSP:MORE}

5. Memorable first round-tripper: Chicago Cubs rookie Tony Campana had never homered in 1,308 minor league plate appearances and 96 major league plate appearances. That changed in the first inning when he lined one sharply down the left field. What appeared to be an easy double quickly became more as the ball ricocheted cleanly past Cincinnati Reds left fielder Yonder Alonso.

Campana turned on the jets at that point and circled the bases for a two-run inside-the-park home run. He actually crossed home plate standing up before Alonso could even return the baseball to the infield. That staked Chicago to a 2-0 lead that eventually became a 4-3 victory, extending their season high winning streak to six.

Watch Campana's inside-the-park home run

6. Poor Joe Mauer: Add Carlos Quentin to the list of players that have homered more times in one game at Target Field than Joe Mauer has in his career.  Sorry, Joe. Quentin's pair of dingers helped power the Chicago White Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Twins.

7. Please support your ace: For the second time this season, Jered Weaver shut out an opposing offense for nine innings, only to end up with a no-decision. The first time the Los Angeles Angels lost 1-0 in 10 innings. At least this time he can take solace in them winning 1-0 over the Seattle Mariners thanks to Vernon Wells' tenth inning RBI single.

8. Great eight: In a battle that certainly didn't lack intensity or fireworks, the Philadelphia Phillies offense knocked around Jonathan Sanchez for five runs in less than fiving innings and extended their current winning streak to eight with a dominant 9-2 win over the San Francisco Giants.

9. Missed opportunity: The Arizona Diamondbacks wasted a golden opportunity to leapfrog San Francisco in the National League West standings, dropping a 7-4 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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