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.
New Sox, same old Youk: The Kevin Youkilis trade is starting to pan out for the White Sox, who beat the Rangers 5-4 in 10 innings on Youkilis' RBI single Wednesday night. Chicago put together back-to-back strong at-bats against Mike Adams to get the victory. Alejandro De Aza shook off a painful foul ball that struck his own knee and worked a leadoff walk. Youkilis followed, rebounding from an 0-2 count, and lined a walkoff single to left. Given his independence from the Red Sox last week, Youkilis hadn't produced much for his new team (aside from surprisingly strong defense at third base) until he homered in his first home at-bat Tuesday during Chicago's 19-2 thumping of the Rangers.
Cliff Lee gets on the board: It took 14 starts, but Cliff Lee of the Phillies finally picked up a victory, 9-2 against the Mets. Some of the drought was due to a lack of run support, some of it was because Lee was pitching below his ability. Whatever the reason for Lee's troubles, teammates Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels doused him with Gatorade during a postgame interview as if Lee had thrown a no-hitter. He struck out nine over eight innings.
The Papi 400: Boston's David Ortiz clubbed career home run No. 400, but it was overshadowed by the 10th homer of the season by Brandon Moss — a former Red Sox player — in Oakland's 3-2 victory that completed a three-game sweep.
Grandal seizure: Yasmani Grandal shook off a distraction — a paper airplane landing near him — just before connecting on an 0-2 count for a go-ahead, pinch-hit, two-run homer that propelled the Padres to an 8-6 victory at Arizona.
Pirating first place (yearrrgh): It's July 5 and the Pittsburgh Pirates are alone in first place in the NL Central after a 6-4 victory against the Astros. Pittsburgh has won seven of eight to improve to 45-36 at the season's midway point.
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Quote of the Day: "Every time I say that, we lose three in a row" — Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, on his team's chances of turning their season around. One day after a tough loss, Miami came away with a stirring, come-from-behind 7-6 victory in 10 innings at Milwaukee. The Fish tied the score 6-all in the ninth on a home run by Gaby Sanchez and went ahead an inning later on an RBI single by Hanley Ramirez. After the game, they sent Sanchez to the minors to make room for Carlos Lee, who accepted a trade from the Astros. Lee had used a no-trade clause to deny a recent attempt by the Dodgers to add him.
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Photo of the Day: I-tali-i-an American!
Vinnie Pestano of the Cleveland Indians dons Uncle Sam glasses to mark the Fourth of July holiday.
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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:
• On Independence Day, the Washington Nationals beat the Giants 9-4, and at 47-32 have the league's best record. Not since 1933, when the Senators had it in the AL, could a Washington baseball team say that as late as July 5.
• Atlanta's Johnny Venters has allowed six home runs this season, three more than he allowed in 171 innings during of 2010 and 2011 combined. Jeff Baker of the Cubs took him deep for a two-run, pinch-hit shot in a 5-1 Chicago victory.