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The Juice: ‘Orioles Magic’ returns as Baltimore strikes for five ninth inning runs against Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(AP)

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On a night Boston’s record-setting home sellout streak came to an abrupt end, the Baltimore Orioles brought a 5-3 ninth inning deficit to an equally abrupt end as they rallied for five runs off Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan.

Chris Davis, who opened the season on a historical hot streak, started the rally with a solo home run. Then, after two quick and harmless outs, Hanrahan allowed a single and back-to-back walks. As they say, that’s a recipe for disaster, and sure enough, a wild pitch was uncorked to even the score at five and then 20-year-old Manny Machado pulled one over the Green Monster giving the O’s lead and eventually an 8-5 victory.

''It was a huge win for us,'' Machado said after his first homer of the year. ''To come out with the victory is just going to give us the big boost that we needed to get this show rolling.''

The Orioles were the best in baseball at stealing games late and winning close ones last season. In fact, in games decided by two runs or less, they were 55-23. This year, however, they began 0-4 under those circumstances, and although the three-run win doesn’t exactly fit the criteria, it could be a starting point to get back on track.

Lighting up Francis: The Colorado Rockies were reeled back in by the world champion Giants after their unexpected 5-1 start. Behind Barry Zito’s… two hits and two runs, they pummeled Jeff Francis and company en route to a 10-0 victory and a three-game series sweep. Oh, and I guess Zito didn’t pitch too bad either, hurling seven scoreless with four strikeouts.

Buster Posey was also a big part of the offensive outburst, falling just a home run shy of the cycle. He drove in three.

''I'd miss a pitch and they'd whack it. I'd make a pitch and they'd whack it,'' Francis said.

In total, the Giants collected a season-high 16 hits. A number they may not equal or top very frequently this season. Then again, they do have 15 games remaining with Colorado.

Break up the Astros: Houston's offense broke out for 16 runs and five homers in a win on Tuesday. They carried the momentum over into Wednesday night, connecting for three more homers in an 8-3 win over the Mariners. Rick Ankiel, who had 12 strikeouts in 14 at-bats coming in, hit a two-run shot in the second. Chris Carter and Marwin Gonzalez (of Yu Darvish almost perfect game fame) added blasts later on.

Straight W's for A's: The Oakland A's are flat out raking after dropping their first two games of the season. In the seven games since, the A's have scored 58 runs, which includes their 11-5 victory over the Angels on Wednesday, and have been winners in all seven.

MORE SCORES

Cardinals 10, Reds 0: Jake Westbrook tosses his fourth career shutout — his first since Aug. 9, 2006 in Cleveland.

Blue Jays 8, Tigers 6: J.P. Arencibia’s three-run double capped Toronto’s comeback from a 6-1 deficit.

Rays 2, Rangers 0: Tampa avoids sweep in the coldest day game ever in Texas (39 degrees at first pitch).

Diamondbacks 10, Pirates 2: A.J. Pollacks homer twice, Wade Miley improves to 2-0.

Phillies 7, Mets 3: Five-run first was all the support Kyle Kendrick needed.

Nationals 5, White Sox 2: D.C. traffic can be a pain, right blue? Holding the Nats offense in check can also be a pain, right Gavin Floyd?

Braves 8, Marlins 0: Miami has been shutout a league high four times through nine games. It's not going to get better.

Yankees vs. Indians (Postponed/Rain): No makeup date has been announced.

Brewers vs. Cubs (Postponed/Cold): Day/night doubleheader scheduled for July 30.

Royals 3, Twins 0: Another save for Kelvin Herrera. Make sure he's not available in your fantasy leagues.

Dodgers 4, Padres 3: Carl Crawford homered, tripled, raised his average to .464 and stayed off the disabled list. Big day for him.

'' For me, hitting home runs is not about power 'It's about hitting the ball correctly and your approach at the plate. It's 340 feet down the line. It's not like you need to hit it 600 feet to hit it out. It's more about getting the right pitch and taking the right swing in the right count.''

— Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollack makes hitting sound so easy after cracking a pair of home runs off Jonathan Sanchez.

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(AP)

The Royals are getting better at baseball but still need work on their high fives.

threefactsBLS

• In the first three innings of their two games in Seattle, the Astros have outscored the Mariners 16-1.

• Jeremy Hefner allowed five first inning runs to the Phillies, which is an improvement over his last start against them where he allowed seven first inning runs.

• With five and one-third shutout innings on Wednesday, Rays left-handed Matt Moore became the first pitcher in franchise history to make three straight scoreless starts in the regular season.

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