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David Brown

The Juice: Reds charge west; Votto in position for Triple Crown

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Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in Los Angeles, which is celebrating another season to come from broadcaster Vin Scully. The visiting Cincinnati Reds aren't celebrating anything yet, but with the team in first place and Joey Votto(notes) (pictured) a Triple-Crown candidate, they're positioned to party.

Game of the Day: Reds 5, Dodgers 2

Reds in Hollywood: With three games to go in San Francisco, the Reds are 5-1 on their West Coast swing. It's usually a sand trap for the Redlegs, but they're maintaining a two-game lead in the loss column on second-place St. Louis in the NL Central. It's been 15 seasons since the Reds made the postseason.

And while the Reds have been out of town, the New York Times re-discovered Cincinnati was on the Ohio River. Pretty soon, "WKRP" will go back on the air and Pete Rose will be reinstated.

Exclusive company: Only four players in NL history have won a Triple Crown — leading the league in batting average, home runs and RBIs — and nobody has done it since Ducky Joe Medwick with the Cardinals in 1937. Boston's Carl Yastrzemski won the AL Triple Crown in 1967.

So, either it's not meant to be or somebody's due. That somebody could be Votto, who leads the NL with a .323 batting average and trails Albert Pujols(notes) by three home runs and three RBIs, respectively.

"We watch the Cardinals, so I can't help but not miss seeing what Albert's doing. But in general, I'm not checking my statistics," Votto said. "I just make sure I'm in line with what I think I can do and do the best I can."

We check them for you, Joe. If you want to get all SABR by shunning HR and RBI, then Pal Joey is doing even better: In addition to leading in batting average, his on-base percentage leads the NL. And his .592 slugging percentage is dead even with Albert atop the Senior Circuit.

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Happy 100th Bronson: Votto hit a tie-breaking homer in the sixth and added a two-run single to help Bronson Arroyo(notes) get his 100th career victory. You see this leg kick, Johnny Cueto(notes)? Do ya' see what the legs are for?

Curiosity is killing me: If Votto wins the Triple Crown — and it's quite possible with five weeks to go — we are going to have to get him for an Answer Man. Amirite?

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They Also Played...

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Braves 16, Cubs 5: It was nice of the Braves to leave no doubt for Lou Piniella that it was time to go. Randy Wells(notes) (right) is wondering just what it is that he's done. Hey, when this kind of hairy thing is going on in the Wrigley Field bleachers, you would high tail it, too.

Twins 4, Angels 0: Twins lead White Sox by five games, but it's only 2 1/2 per Twin. What?

Astros 2, Marlins 1: Perhaps, now that he's found shelter at Father Flanagan's Ed Wade's Home for Wayward ex-Phillies, right-hander Nelson Figueroa(notes) will be given a full season to show what he can do in a major league pitching rotation.

Yankees 10, Mariners 0: Filling in as cleanup hitter, Robinson Cano(notes) hit a grand slam after the other team walked Mark Teixeira(notes) intentionally to load the bases. Where have we heard this story before?

Great stat via AP:

Since he joined the Yankees last season, Teixeira has been intentionally walked to load the bases 10 times. The batter behind him is 7 for 8 with four homers and 25 RBIs.

Moral of the story: Just pitch to Teixeira (and Cano's really good).

Phillies 6, Nationals 0: After Roy Oswalt(notes) struck out Adam Kennedy(notes) in the fourth inning, I kept replaying video of the at-bat over and over again to watch where the decisive pitch went. Analysis: Kennedy was the patsy this time.

Tigers 8, Indians 1: In getting swept over three games, the Tribe managed three entire runs. Three. Carlos Baerga is spinning in his hammock.

Pirates 2, Mets 1: For some reason, Zach Duke(notes) always has the Mets by the dingleberries.

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 0: Clay Buchholz(notes) is going to get some East Coast love for Cy Young.

Padres 7, Brewers 3: Stats LLC says that, with seven homers in 18 games at Miller Park, Adrian Gonzalez(notes) is on pace to hit 63 there over 163 games. Prince Fielder(notes) envies him.

Rangers 6, Orioles 4: Ohmygosh, I just looked at Kevin Millwood's(notes) record. He's got a chance at 20 — and I don't mean victories.

Cardinals 9, Giants 0: But the Giants did win Cody Ross(notes) off waivers from the Florida Marlins. That's one way to keep him out of the Padres' hands. Good luck with the 10-man outfield platoon, Bruce Bochy.

Royals 3, White Sox 2 (10 inn.): Three extra-inning games in about 18 hours. Joe West is going to get his someday, and I don't mean cake.

Rockies 1, D-backs 0: Dexter Fowler(notes) and his spleen are OK after going all out on this catch.

Rays 3, Athletics 2: Those who think pitching is 75 percent of baseball are 100-percent mental. Look at the A's. All they do is get great pitching and they cannot escape the .500 tractor beam.

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