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The Juice: A.J. Pierzynski home run sends Rangers past Angels; Reds edge Cubs in 13

David Brown
Big League Stew

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They love them some A.J. in Anaheim: They pretty much boo A.J. Pierzynski everywhere, but fans are especially not fond of him at Los Angeles Angeles games. Something about his performance in the 2005 ALCS, mostly. Pierzynski added to his legend Monday night, hitting a solo home run that supplied the go-ahead run in a 7-6 victory for the Texas Rangers. His long ball in the ninth against Ernesto Frieri completed a three-run comeback against the beleaguered Angels, who fell to 7-11 and wasted a four-hit game by Josh Hamilton. Tanner Scheppers pitched two shutout innings for the win and Joe Nathan pitched around a leadoff single by Peter Bourjos for the save.

And just like with (NSFW) Mongo in "Blazing Saddles," the negative reinforcement Pierzynski gets from fans only makes it worse.

[Also: Rangers spring to life after offseason lull]

"I actually love it,'' he said. ''It's an awesome atmosphere. This is one of my favorite ballparks. This is where I played my first big league game, so this is a special place to me.''

That's so Cubs!: Of course the Chicago Cubs couldn't stand the prosperity of Luis Valbuena hitting a go-ahead home run in the top of the 13th. So when Jay Bruce hit a tying double and Cesar Izturis followed with a two-out single, there was a business-as-usual feel to the Cincinnati Reds' 5-4 victory. Every one of the Cubs 18 games have been decided by four runs or fewer. At 5-13, these heartbreakers love to tease.

Two other Reds notes of note: Bruce hit his first home run of the season, and Shin-Soo Choo got hit for the 10th time with a pitch.

It's OK, the Brewers aren't bad anymore: The Milwaukee Brewers started the season 2-8, but they've won eight in a row after throttling the San Diego Padres at Petco Park 7-1. Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer (and he winked at you after he did it) and Yuniesky Betancourt added a three-run shot in the first inning against Jason Marquis. The only problem for the Brew Crew: Kyle Lohse dislocated the pinkie on his left hand. Ow, ow, ow! But they expect him to make his next start.

MORE SCORES


Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4: Sergio Romo threw one pitch to get out of a jam, then waited a few minutes for Brandon Belt came off the bench (after being benched) to hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth.

[Also: Should Justin Verlander, other aces, worry about lost velocity?]

Mariners 7, Astros 1: Right-handed stud muffin Felix Hernandez picked up career victory No. 100 after three failed attempts.

Cardinals 3, Nationals 2: At least the Nats didn't let Pete Kozma beat them this time, right? Right? Hello?

Red Sox 9, Athletics 6: Grand slam Mike Napoli. He has 25 RBIs.

Braves at Rockies, ppd. (weather): However, Braves slugger Jason Heyward did manage to get his appendix removed.

Phillies 3, Pirates 2: Nice debut for Phillies right-hander Jonathan Pettibone, who had a 9.20 ERA in three starts at Triple-A. You figure this game out, call me. No, call the Pirates.

Orioles 2, Blue Jays 1: Nick Markakis with winning single. But no pie.

Marlins at Twins, ppd. (weather): That's what the Twins get for deflating the Metrodome. Ingrates.

Rays 5, Yankees 1: What's the most dominant part of Matt Moore's game? His left arm, his teeth or his eyebrows?

Indians 3, White Sox 2: Indians shortstop Asdrubal Carbrera recently injured himself in a fall. Getting a go-ahead single in the eighth inning is better.

Asdrubal Cabrera on game-winning single: "That beats falling down the dugout steps. I love those situations." #Indians.

— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) April 23, 2013

• The Rays have won 12 of 14 against the Yanks at Tropicana Field since July 2011.

• The A's are 11-2 against AL West teams — and 1-6 against everyone else.

• Padres slugger Carlos Quentin served the final game of his suspension for the Zack Greinke fight.

Baseball is back! Interact with @AnswerDave, @MikeOz, @Townie813 and @bigleaguestew on Twitter, along with the BLS Facebook page!

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