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Big League Stew

The Juice: Skip to my St. Lou! Rare Schumaker homer beats KC

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Nine innings, nine items to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.

1. This is for all the little people: In what might be the smallest homer this season based on the combined height and weight of the participants, Royals left-hander Tim Collins (listed at 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds) gave up a game-ender to Skip Schumaker of the Cardinals (listed at 5-10, 195).

Of Skip's 22 career homers over 2,100 or so career plate appearances, it's his second walk-off but first deep ball of any kind — ever — against a left-handed pitcher. It gave the Cardinals a 5-4 victory on Sunday and helped them move into first place in the NL Central.

Walk tall, Jared Michael Schumaker! (But get low at home plate.)

The bad news for St. Louis: Albert Pujols sprained his left wrist and hurt his shoulder trying to make a tag. Pujols said "of course" he's worried and that he doesn't come out of a game unless "something is really wrong," adding that those rooting for him should "cross our fingers."

"I was disappointed I was out of the game and I didn't get to punch Schumaker in the ribs after the walk-off," Pujols said.

2. Something's Fishy: Perhaps no major league franchise manages to get as high and as low as the Florida Marlins. They win a World Series, they break up the team. A manager quits, and ownership wants to replace him with your grandpa.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez resigned Sunday, stunning (among others) coach Brandon Hyde, who takes over as interim skipper in the midst of a 10-game losing streak. Jack McKeon, who is 80 years old, is said to be the next manager.

In Hyde's debut/finale (?), the Marlins fell 2-1 to Tampa Bay and right-hander James Shields, who struck out 10 in his second straight complete game.

3. Now get out: The New York Yankees finished their weekend trip to Wrigley Field with a 10-4 victory against the Cubs, pivoting on a tie-breaking three-run homer by Nick Swisher in the eighth.

4. Pull the string!: {YSP:MORE}

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CORDphelps

Rookie Cord Phelps strapped the Cleveland Indians to his back and belted a rope to right for a tie-breaking, game-ending homer. It lassoed a 5-2 victory in 11 innings against the Pirates, who were stranded with three losses at Progressive Field.

5. Bruin Nation: Apparently inspired by the visiting Stanley Cup and keyed by Kevin Youkilis' three-run homer, Boston scored six in the first inning against Yovani Gallardo, which pretty much settled a 12-3 victory against the Brewers.

6. Texas fold 'em: The Rangers have dropped nine of 12 after the Atlanta Braves beat them 4-2 behind Jair Jurrjens, who lowered his ERA to an NL-best 2.12. Jayson Heyward hit a two-run single for offensive purposes.

7. Twinkie time!: The Minnesota Twins won their seventh straight after Drew Butera — perhaps the league's worst hitter, no offense — hit a tie-breaking RBI single in the ninth for a 5-4 victory against the Padres. And Joe Mauer's back in the lineup, too.

8. From the Pitts of Hades: The Oakland Athletics know the "Moneyball" movie is coming soon, so they used that motivation, along with a visit by the disliked Giants, to complete a three-game sweep with a 4-2 victory. Just saying, but the A's are only five games out of first place in the AL West.

9. Kurt Cobain > Hall and Oates: How about that Jason Vargas, tossing a three-hitter in a 2-0 shutout against the Phillies? The Seattle Mariners took two of three from the Phun Addicts.

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