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The Juice: Padres snap skid with 'biggest win' of the season

Big League Stew

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Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in San Diego, where the Padres finally stopped losing.

Game of the Day:
Padres 4, Dodgers 2

Finally, Fathers! With their losing streak poised to reach 11 and the San Francisco Giants looking to move into a share of first place for the first time since May 6, the San Diego Padres got the novel idea to actually, you know, win a game. The victory ended the Padres' longest losing streak since 1994 and temporarily halted a slide that has seen them lose 5 1/2 games of their NL West lead to the stalking San Franciscans from the north. You can exhale (for now), San Diego!

"You would never have thought that winning one game would be so important," said reliever Mike Adams(notes), who earned the win. That's the biggest win that we've had maybe all year."

Pitcher party: Mat Latos(notes) was scheduled to start this one, but Tim Stauffer(notes) slid into his spot when the San Diego ace was felled with a nasty bout of the stomach flu. Stauffer turned in four innings of one-run ball, then allowed the Padres 'pen to hang on from there. The scorer credited Adams with the win after 1 2/3 innings of scoreless work and closer Heath Bell(notes) successfully converted his first save opportunity since Aug. 19 in Chicago.

Oh yeah, the offense: Nick Hundley(notes) opened the scoring with a homer in the third, but San Diego delivered the win with its traditional small ball. Adrian Gonzalez(notes) came home on a bases-loaded fielder's choice by Will Venable(notes) in the fourth before Hundley pulled off an infield single to score Miguel Tejada(notes). A sac fly by David Eckstein(notes) in the seventh provided some insurance.

Happy days are here again? It has to be nice to lose the burden of a 10-game losing streak, but the Padres still have plenty of work to do if they're going to give us an October filled with Anchorman references. Latos says he'll make his start tonight in the second game of the three-game set against Los Angeles and San Francisco comes calling this weekend. Will their long September seem longer than the slide they just got off?

They also played ...

Giants 2, D'Backs 0 (11 inn.) You know it's a bad day for the bats when the game features the same amount of runs as young fans sent to the hospital.

Marlins 7, Phillies 1; Phillies 7, Marlins 4 Speaking of the inevitable, Philadelphia could have seized first place from Atlanta with two wins over Florida. But they had to settle for being a half-game back entering tonight's action after splitting the double dip. Eh, what's another few hours when you've been waiting since May 30?

Pirates 3, Braves 1 How can Atlanta keep talking about controlling its own destiny when it can't even control Neil Walker(notes) and his squad from Pittsburgh?

White Sox 5, Tigers 4 (10 inn.) It's seven, lucky seven for the Pale Hose, who have yet to lose on this road trip or with Manny Ramirez(notes) in uniform. The Man-Ram himself was 3-for-5 on Monday and it was his single that started the game-winning charge in Chicago's half of the 10th.

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Twins 5, Royals 4 Despite their seven-game winning streak, the White Sox have only picked up a half-game on Minnesota in the AL Central standings. Said one Twins backer to me over the weekend: "Now Chicago fans know how we felt while watching the White Sox fatten up on that interleague schedule."

Orioles 4, Yankees 3 Another year, another 100-RBI season for Alex Rodriguez(notes).

Red Sox 12, Rays 5 Tampa Bay is never going to catch the Yankees if Ryan Kalish(notes) and David Ortiz(notes) don't knock it off. Same goes for Jeff Niemann(notes).

Rockies 10, Reds 5 While all of you applaud Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) for his franchise-record 18th win of the season, I'll sit here and wonder how we'll possibly remember Kevin Ritz now that his 17-11, 5.28 ERA season with the 1996 Rox has been erased from the record books.

Nationals 13, Mets 3 Rookie Danny Espinosa(notes) (below) might remember his fifth game more than his first. He went 4-for-5 and roughed up Mets pitching to the tune of a grand slam, another home run and six total RBI.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 2 Just because Texas doesn't really need to win any more games to win the AL West doesn't mean they should try. The Rangers have lost seven of nine.

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Cardinals 8, Brewers 6 The always-practical Yadier Molina(notes) wanted a sacrifice fly in the eighth, but ended up with the second grand slam of his career instead. He's like the anti-Gordo Gekko, that guy.

A's 6, Mariners 2 Fun fact of the day #1: Seattle hasn't scored four runs in a game since Aug. 21. Fun fact of the day #2: Safeco Field has been wired with explosives by the ghost of Dennis Hopper and will blow to pieces if it does.

Cubs 5, Astros 4 He's not playing up to the level of the man he beat out for NL ROY, but Geovany Soto(notes) is stroking like it's 2008 again.

Angels 3, Indians 2 From the files of too little, too late comes this lead from the Associated Press: "Long after most people stopped paying much attention, the last-place Cleveland Indians' pitching staff has become surprisingly solid."

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