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The Juice: Pirates pummel John Axford to steal rare win in Milwaukee; Clay Buchholz earns MLB leading sixth win

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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(Getty)

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Axed by Axford... again: Any plans the Brewers may have had to reinstate John Axford as their closer will likely be placed on hold after their veteran right-hander suffered another meltdown in the team’s 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh. Attempting to protect a 4-2 lead, Axford allowed four eighth inning runs, including a game-tying two-run homer to Starling Marte and RBI singles to Brandon Inge and Pedro Alvarez.

The Brewers never recovered and had their eight-game home winning streak snapped in the process. As for Pittsburgh, the win wrapped up an impressive 6-4 road trip. Think about that for a second or two, and then consider this victory was only their eighth in Milwaukee over the past 54 games dating back to 2007.

''We don't make (the losing streak) as big as everybody else does because a lot of these guys weren't here,'' Pittsburgh manager Hurdle said. ''They don't feel the baggage. They hear the noise but after a while, you don't need to hear the noise because you know what you need to do. You need to play better and win games. That's how you stop the noise.''

I'm with you, Clint. But how do we stop the funk?

Claymation is taking over: To say Clay Buchholz is clicking on all cylinders would be an understatement. The Boston Red Sox right-hander moved to 6-0 (the first six game winner in baseball) after another scoreless outing — seven innings, two hits and eight strikeouts — against the Blue Jays. That lowered his ERA to a minuscule 1.01, and if you're to believe his catcher, David Ross, the run of dominance may not be expiring for quite some time.

''A lot of those guys knew what was coming and still couldn't hit it,'' Ross said. ''As far as how he can execute four to five pitches on both sides of the plate, there's not many other guys like that in the big leagues. That's why he's doing what he's doing.''

Offensively, the Red Sox connected for five home runs en route to the 10-1 win, including two from Mike Napoli that were estimated at over 450 feet. You'd hate to say they were wasted, but Buchholz sure didn't need them. I'm sure he appreciated them all the same, though.

Ten straight for Lynn: The St. Louis Cardinals won a low-scoring series over the division rival Reds by taking the rubber match 4-2. Starting pitcher Lance Lynn is the main reason why as he allowed one run in seven innings to earn his fifth victory. That made him the first pitcher in the National League to reach five wins, and extended his personal winning streak to 10 straight decisions.

The teams had split the first two games in the series, each winning 2-1. Wednesday's tilt seemed destined for another repeat score until the Cardinals broke through for three in the sixth against Homer Bailey on consecutive RBI singles from Matt Carpenter, Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso. Earlier, Carlos Beltran cracked his team leading seventh home run.

Raburn stays sizzling: Ryan Raburn's improbable hot streak entered its third day on Wednesday. After hitting two home runs in each of his two previous games, Raburn equaled his career-high with four hits (also achieved on Monday) and drove in two runs as the Indians stomped the Phillies, 6-0. That brings Raburn's three day totals to 11 for 13 (.846) with two homers, nine RBI and 24 total bases.

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Jordany Valdespin's home run sprint. (USA Today)

Mets 7, Marlins 6: The Mets rallied from a 4-1 deficit thanks in large part to Jordany Valdespin's three-run, pinch-ht home run, and then managed to stay out of their own just long enough to end their six-game losing streak.

Twins 6, Tigers 2: Coming off his franchise-record 17 strikeout performance on Friday night, Anibal Sanchez needed 41 pitches just to get through the first inning.

Angels 5, A's 4: Home runs from Mark Trumbo, Howie Kendrick and Mike Trout, coupled with two poorly timed miscues by Yoenis Cespedes help Los Angeles prevail.

Nationals 2, Braves 0: Hours after Lance Lynn reached five wins, Jordan Zimmerman joined him thanks to eight shutout innings.

Yankees 5, Astros 4: Lyle Overbay's brilliant baserunning was the difference. I'm not making that up.

Cubs 6, Padres 2: Scott Feldman strikes out 12 in a complete game three-hitter. Maybe the Rangers will call him back up if another starter goes down.

White Sox 5, Rangers 2: A.J. Pierzynski drama!

Royals 9, Rays 8: Kansas City overcomes 6-1 deficit to sting Tampa.

Rockies 7, Dodgers 3: Dexter Fowler goes above and beyond to help Colorado win a rare series at Dodger Stadium.

Giants 9, Diamondbacks 6: Same script, different performers. Brandon Belt's three-run blast off David Hernandez provides the difference.

Mariners 8, Orioles 3: Michael Morse's power surge continues.

''It's something I've been wanting to do for a while. Always seemed like my pitch count got up or (I) got taken out a little before that could happen.''

— Scott Feldman explains the key factors in pitching a complete game.

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The only way you'll get a souvenir from Clay Buchholz. (Getty)

• Six of Jordany Valdespin's 10 career home runs have come as a pinch hitter.

• Despite their loss, the Tigers became the first team in American League history to strike out at least 10 batters in six consecutive games.

• Michael Morse became the first Seattle hitter to have nine homers in the team's first 30 games since Mike Cameron in 2002.

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