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Big League Stew

The Juice: Matt Joyce twists ankle during big home run swing, Mets come back to sweep Phillies

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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.

Careful on that stride, it's a doozy: Matt Joyce described it as "the best and worst feelings that you could possibly have in the span of a minute." After watching the Tampa Bay Rays outfielder wince his way around the bases in the ninth inning of Wednesday night's 4-1 win over the Yankees, it wasn't hard to see where he was coming from. (Watch it above.)

[Related: Injured Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has blood clot in calf]

The ecstasy that Joyce felt came from the go-ahead three-run homer that he hit off Yankees closer David Robertson at Yankee Stadium. The agony, meanwhile, came from Joyce somehow twisting his ankle as he awkwardly shifted his feet following his home run swing.

But despite falling all the way to the ground in the batter's box, Joyce somehow picked himself up for a painful trip that would end with his teammates ribbing him in the dugout.

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(AP)

''I kind of told myself I had to,'' he told reporters after the game. ''You can't really have somebody else pinch run for you there. There's really no other option." [...]

''It's always great to come up with a big hit like that, especially against the Yankees. It's just hard to celebrate when you're laying on the ground.''

Joyce's jog was timed at 29.38 seconds by Tater Trot Tracker, making him the slowest player to complete the circuit during this young season. He taped the ankle and stayed in the game to play defense in the bottom of the ninth, but didn't know if it was sprained or if he'd miss any time. Joyce has hit seven home runs this season.

As for the Yankees, they suffered through Robertson's first blown save, just one night after he escaped a bases loaded jam against the Rays. While it's nowhere near time to panic, Robertson knows that the entire world is watching to see how he'll fill in for Mariano Rivera.

''Eventually, I'm not going to be able to get out of all my messes that I create," Robertson said. "It was really tough, just a sad way to end the game."

Late to the party, but right on time: The Mets completed their first three-game sweep in Philadelphia since 2006 with a 10-6 win at Citizens Bank Park. All three victories in the series featured comebacks staged in the fifth inning or later and Wednesday's victory did not take shape until Cliff Lee had exited the game with a two-run Phillies lead. Kyle Kendrick was given the loss after surrendering five earned runs in just one inning of work.

[Related: Josh Hamilton's four-homer night highlights his talent, but risk remains]

Waterloggin': The baseball world wanted to see if Josh Hamilton could homer for his sixth time in seven at-bats, but Mother Nature apparently wanted to see if Hamilton could scare the hell out of his agent by doing his best Rick Dempsey impression instead. The Rangers and O's will make up the rained-out game with a doubleheader on Thursday.

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All good things must come to an end: Coming into Wednesday's game, the Brewers had gone 18 for 18 in games that Zack Greinke started at Miller Park. But in a sign of how sour their season has turned, the Crew wasted an eight-inning, 11-strikeout performance from their homebody ace right-hander, losing 2-1 to Johnny Cueto and Cincinnati and falling to 18-1 in home starts by Greinke. The win was the 1,500th of Dusty Baker's managerial career, making him the 20th skipper to reach that mark.

Luckily bad things come to an end, too: No, your eyes do not deceive you. The Angels offense actually showed up to help Ervin Santana in the Angels' 6-2 win over the Twins, something it hadn't done while being shutout in all of the pitcher's previous five starts. Santana, who pitched 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball, was the first pitcher since 1974 to go five starts without receiving any support on offense.

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Quote of the Day: "They came and told me that I won my 1,400th here (at Miller Park). Now my 1,500th here. Who knows? Maybe I'll win my 2,000th here. If I'm around that long.'' — Dusty Baker

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Photo of the Day: Jemile Weeks redefines the term "hair-raising excitement"

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(US Presswire)

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Three Facts for the Water Cooler

• The Royals hadn't won in Bruce Chen's first six starts this season. Chen hadn't beaten the Red Sox in seven season. Both slumps, however, came to an end with a 4-3 win over Boston at Kauffman Stadium. (With Jeff Francoeur hitting cleanup, no less!) The Red Sox have lost seven of their last eight games.

• Toronto's Brandon Morrow has allowed only two earned runs over his last 27 2/3 innings, earning him a 0.67 ERA over a four-start winning streak. He struck out 10 Oakland batters over six innings in a 5-2 victory at Oakland Coliseum.

• Adam Dunn hit his 10th homer of the season in Chicago's 8-1 win in Cleveland, putting him just one shy of his entire 2011 total. He had three homers at the same point of the season a year ago.

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