The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday (and now on Saturdays) for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.
Trout earns a Happy Meal: We're at the point now where we expect to write Mike Trout's name every single day, and yet it never feels like an old or worn out theme. The 20-year-old phenom was a key cog in the Angels attack on Friday night, homering and hustling as they rallied from a 5-0 deficit to defeat the freeway rival Dodgers, 8-5.
First came the homer — his seventh on the season — a solo shot that capped a three-run fourth inning rally and put the Angels ahead for good. Two innings later, the Angels were looking to tack on some insurance. Trout's incredible speed helped provide that as well, as he hustled around from first base on Torii Hunter's single.
And believe me, the veteran outfielder appreciated it.
''Trout is like my little brother. He's my best friend, so I'm really excited that he did that for me - giving me that extra RBI - and I'm going to take him to McDonald's,'' Hunter said.
Happy returns (Part 1): I wonder if a veteran like Roy Oswalt still gets nervous before a big start, such as making a highly anticipated season debut for the Texas Rangers.
''I won't tell you I wasn't nervous,'' said Oswalt, who threw 81 of his 110 pitches for strikes. ''If you don't have butterflies, you might as well get out of the game.''
Alright, well, a nervous Oswalt actually pitched about as calmly and effectively as you could reasonably expect, holding the Colorado Rockies high octane offense to one run on nine hits over six plus innings in a 4-1 victory. And how did he achieve that success? By mixing a fastball that rested in the low 90s with a slow curveball that always seemed to hit the spot he desired.
Happy returns (Part 2): Meanwhile, in Boston, Jair Jurrjens made his first start for the Atlanta Braves — taking the injured Brandon Beachy's spot — since being demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett in late April. He was even better than Oswalt, allowing a first inning single and nothing more until the Red Sox scratched out a run on two hits in the eighth. That performance was good enough to earn Jurrjens his first victory since Aug. 11, 2011, as the Braves prevailed, 4-1.
A quick 10: The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox needed only two hours, twenty-two minutes to play ten innings. That's because Zack Greinke and Chris Sale locked up in one of the best pitching duels we've seen all season, combining for 17 scoreless innings and 11 strikeouts.
Fortunately for Greinke, he held on for nine and then his teammates picked him up in the tenth. That includes Rickie Weeks knocking in pinch-runner Nyjer Morgan with the game's only run, and John Axford, who overcame his recent struggles to collect save No. 13 in the 1-0 win.
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Quote of the Day:
''I felt like I got mad in the right way. I guess I channeled that madness on the field and stopped worrying about the (stuff) that happens behind me that I can't control.''
Tim Lincecum on his big bounce back performance in the Giants dramatic 5-4 victory over the Oakland A's. It started out looking like more of the same for Lincecum. Oakland plated three in the first inning and had the bases loaded before he recovered to strikeout the side. From there, it was the old Tim, as he allowed only two walks over his final five innings.
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Photo of the Day: Stormy weather
After a 61-minute rain delay to begin the game, Bryce Harper prepares for his first inning at-bat as the threatening clouds finally move away from Camden Yards in Baltimore. And they stayed away long enough for the Orioles and Jason Hammel to notch another victory, 2-1.
Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies were not as lucky just a couple hours away. They'll play a doubleheader on Sunday.
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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:
• A.J. Burnett pitched six scoreless innings and matched a career high by winning his seventh consecutive start in Pittsburgh's 4-1 victory over Detroit. It's the longest such streak by a Pirates pitcher since Doc Ellis won eight straight starts in 1974.
• David Hernandez became the first Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher to collect a hit and a save in the same game since Jose Valverde did it on Sept. 20, 2003. The hit was the first of Hernandez's career. Another Arizona reliever, Brad Ziegler, also had his first career hit on Friday night, as the Diamondbacks rolled over the Cubs, 6-1.
• Ben Revere and Ryan Doumit each had a career high four hits for the Minnesota Twins in their 5-4 win over Cincinnati. Those eight combined hits in eight at-bats equaled the same number of hits the duo had over their previous 55 combined at-bats.