The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.
Welcome to the East Bay: Sporting a veteran beard that makes him resemble former major-league closer Jeff Reardon, rookie catcher Derek Norris endeared himself to Oakland Athletics fans forever by slugging a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Giants 4-2 on Sunday. The blast against Santiago Casilla (and why not Sergio Romo?) prompted the A's to celebrate like they won the 1989 World Series. Norris even stripped down to his undershirt during the playful mock beatdown at home. The striptease probably wasn't necessary for Norris, an A's kind of prospect (he walked a lot in the minors) who came over in the Gio Gonzalez trade with Washington, but it was understandable in his third major-league game. The A's got to release some pent-up emotions after having unsatisfying ninth innings for two straight games.
Oh, baby, Youk: The Boston Red Sox traded slugger Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart — not the way anyone before the season figured his career in New England would end. But with Will Middlebrooks playing great at third base and Youkilis struggling to regain his old effectiveness as he heads into free agency, and rightfully wondering where his place was anymore, the move made sense for the Red Sox. Still, the folks at Fenway found it hard to say good-bye to a central character in Boston's 2007 World Series title and one of the more popular players in recent team history.
Not long after word got out that he would be traded, Youkilis hit a triple in the seventh inning and was replaced by a pinch runner. The Fenway fans gave him a nice ovation before the at-bat and as he left the field. Several tears likely were shed in Boston's 9-4 victory against the Braves:
The deal also makes sense for the White Sox, who got awful production from the likes of Brent Morel and Orlando Hudson at third base but are in first place anyway. It should be noted that Eduardo Escobar, who also has played third, hit a pinch-hit RBI single to send the White Sox to a 1-0 victory against the Brewers. Now back to the bench you go!
Chapman blows it again: Do we want to live in a world where ninth-inning leads are vulnerable when Aroldis Chapman pitches? For the second straight outing, he allowed a go-ahead two-run home run in the ninth, this time to Josh Willingham in a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Over his past seven games, Chapman is 0-4 with three blown saves and an 11.37 ERA.
Mowed-down Philly: The Philadelphia Phillies dropped to 34-40 after the Tampa Bay Rays swept a doubleheader 3-2 and 7-3. In the nightcap, Tampa Bay's Brooks Conrad — Brooks Conrad! — hit a pair of two-run doubles against Cliff Lee, who remains winless. Cole Hamels, MVP of the 2008 World Series against the Rays, pitched seven scoreless innings in the opener.
New York, New York: The Mets played competitive ball against the Yankees, but fell 6-5 in the rubber match of the Subway Series after Robinson Cano hit a tie-breaking home run in the eighth inning. Mets manager Terry Collins elected to stick with Miguel Batista and not go with lefty Tim Byrdak, to the confusion of many. The bigger news might have been that someone scored runs against knuckleball baron R.A. Dickey, who came in having thrown consecutive one-hitters. There was also a chicken named Little Jerry Seinfeld.
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Quote of the Day: ''It must have been that meeting. All of the guys that spoke up did good today.'' — Miami left-hander Mark Buehrle, after the Marlins beat the Blue Jays 9-0 to stop a six-game losing streak. Miami's Hanley Ramirez called a team meeting after losing on Saturday. He hit a two-run triple, John Buck hit a three-run homer and Greg Dobbs hit a two-run shot.
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Photo of the Day: No touching!
Ryan Raburn of the Tigers leaps at the fence to rob Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison of extra bases (and give Justin Verlander a heart attack) in the eighth inning. Detroit won 3-2. Watch the play in moving pictures.
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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:
• Arizona's Wade Miley retired 20 of the first 21 batters he faced before allowing a solo homer to the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano. Miley went eight innings and the D-backs cruised to a 5-1 victory.
• Baltimore's Chris Davis flied out as a pinch hitter in a 2-1 victory against Washington. Davis is in an 0-for-29 slump.
• The Angels have won 13 of 18 against the Dodgers after beating them 5-3 at Angel Stadium. They took two of three in a series that drew 133,035 fans in Anaheim, a three-game series record there.
- Sports & Recreation
- Kevin Youkilis
- Derek Norris