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.
Mr. 300: Alex Rodriguez reached another career milestone, connecting on home run No. 300 as a member of the New York Yankees in their 8-5 win over the Orioles. The two-run fifth inning blast upped New York's lead to 7-0 at the time, and also placed him in elite company as only the sixth player to hit 300 homers while wearing Yankee pinstripes. That's something he will revel in at some point I'm sure, but far more important to Rodriguez right now was getting the 'W' and reclaiming the lead in the hotly contested AL East.
'I had no idea I had 300,'' Rodriguez said. ''The only numbers we're worried about right now is Ws. Whatever you are going to do for the year is already done. The numbers are done. We're worried about one thing and that's winning games.''
Errorfest: As bad as things have gotten for the Pirates over the past 20 years, it's been a much longer time since they've played a game as poorly as their embarrassing 12-2 loss to the Cubs on Friday night. In that loss, Pittsburgh committed seven — yes, SEVEN — errors, while only producing two runs on four hits. That's more errors than hits and runs combined for those scoring at home. For perspective, that's their highest single-game error total since committing seven against the Cardinals on Sept. 16, 1985. It's also the first time a major-league team has committed seven since the Braves did it in 2004. Ouch.
Humanizing Aroldis: When Reds closer Aroldis Chapman jogged to the mound to protect a one-run ninth inning lead, it seemed like a foregone conclusion Cincinnati would be shaking hands in a matter of minutes. But even with the 95-loss Houston Astros standing across the field, Chapman showed a human side we hadn't seen in over two months by allowing a three-run home run to Matt Dominguez, which proved to be the difference in Houston's 5-3 win.
For Chapman, the blown save was his first since June 24 — a span covering 27 opportunities. But more impressive than that, it's the first home run the all-star closer has allowed to a National League hitter all season. His other three allowed all came during interleague play.
Marco! Scutaro!: The Los Angeles Dodgers made all the splashy moves, while the Giants made all the necessary ones. That includes acquiring Marco Scutaro from the Rockies on July 28, who has since delivered several clutch hits for San Francisco. The move paid further dividends on Friday night, as the 36 year old second baseman delivered a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh, which helped San Francisco secure a 5-2 victory.
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Quote of the Day: ''That may be the first time in Major League Baseball history that happens, where the wife sings the national anthem and the husband hits a walk-off homer. Maybe Honus Wagner and his wife, back in the day. Whenever amplification came on board, you'd have to check that out.''
Rays manager Joe Maddon jokes after Ben Zobrist delivered his first career walkoff home run — at any level of play — in their critical 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers. Zobrist's wife, Julianna, performed the anthem prior to the game.
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Photo of the Day: Rocket Sr. and Rocket Jr.
With son Koby Clemens behind the plate, Roger Clemens tossed another four and two-thirds scoreless innings for the Sugar Land Skeeters in their 4-0 win over the Long Island Ducks on Friday night. Clemens allowed only two hits — both singles — and struck out one in the outing, and now has an eight-inning scoreless streak through two comeback starts.
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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:
• Make that three shutouts in a row for the Atlanta Braves after their 3-0 win over the Mets. The only other team in 2012 that can make that claim is the Giants, who did it from June 25-28.
• Stephen Strasburg lasted only three innings and allowed five runs in the Nationals 9-7, 10-inning loss to the Miami Marlins. The abbreviated outing equaled the shortest of Strasburg's career to date, and according to manager Davey Johnson "it might" alter the team's plans to shut him down after his next start, but didn't elaborate beyond that.
• Don't look now, but the Los Angeles Angels are just two games back in the American League Wild Card after their dramatic 3-2 win over the Tigers. The Halos have now won nine of their last ten overall.