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Big League Stew

The Juice: Stephen Strasburg routed by Marlins, Kris Medlen keeps dominating for Braves

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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Not his usual self: With six teams being shut out on Tuesday night, what were the odds that Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg would find himself on the wrong end of the most-lopsided loss?

And to the Miami Marlins, a team he had blanked for 27 consecutive innings coming into the start, no less?

Proving that no one's immune to a bad day, Strasburg gave up a career-high seven runs in five innings as the Nats lost their fifth straight game in a 9-0 mashing by the Marlins.

''I'm sure there's not a pitcher in the history of baseball who has gone out there and done it every single time,'' Strasburg said. ''I struggled for pretty much the whole game. It's a learning experience for me.''

Indeed, it was probably "just one of those days" for the right-hander, though that's probably not going to stop people who support Operation Shutdown from using it as ammo in their case. But as Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweeted, that decision is being based on a lot more than the results of just one start — good or bad.

Magnificent Medlen: Kris Medlen continued his terrific tenure as an Atlanta Braves starter, throwing eight scoreless innings and allowing only five baserunners in a 2-0 victory over the San Diego Padres. Medlen also struck out nine batters and hasn't allowed a run in the past 28 1/3 innings, but he didn't want to talk about himself after the game. The fact the Braves had moved to within four games of the Nats in the NL East was of bigger significance.

Tigers miss chance: With the White Sox getting beat up in Baltimore and Justin Verlander taking the mound, the Detroit Tigers had an excellent opportunity to shave a game off Chicago's lead in the AL Central. But Verlander must have caught something from Strasburg, giving up a career-high eight runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 9-8 loss at Kauffman Stadium. Mike Moustakas played hero for the Royals (and the White Sox) turning in three hits and three RBIs, including a go-ahead RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning.

San Francisco sidesteps problem in Houston: The Astros have been so bad in 2012 that there's pretty much no excuse for any contending team to come away with anything but a sweep when it faces Houston in a series. Though it took until the ninth inning, the Giants came through on their first chance to bolster their "W" column with a 3-2 win at Minute Maid Park. Both Joaquin Arias and Hector Sanchez notched RBIs in that final frame, which pushed San Francisco to a season-high 3 1/2 games above Los Angeles in the NL West race. The Dodgers fell to Colorado 8-4 and hold a 1-3 record since the big trade.

The "O" is for Oakland: Cleveland is playing the role of Houston in the American League and the A's are definitely taking advantage as Tommy Milone and three relievers pitched their way to a 7-0 rout of the Indians on Tuesday night. Oakland has pitched three straight shutouts against the Tribe, outscoring Cleveland 17-0 in that stretch.

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Quote of the day

"The best day I had all year."

— Yankees closer Rafael Soriano after striking out two in the ninth to preserve a 2-1 win against Toronto. The save came one night after Soriano blew a save against the Blue Jays then sparked the ire of the New York media by not being available to talk afterward.

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Photo of the day: Aftermath

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The Pirates got some of their groove back in a 9-0 win over the Cardinals, but the big story of the game was the home-plate collision between Josh Harrison and Yadier Molina and the retaliation that followed. Harrison said he wasn't intentionally trying to hurt the Cards catcher and Molina agreed. But for anyone who is still harboring their doubts, here's a question: Would you slide feet-first into a catcher if this happened the last time you tried doing so?

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Three facts for the water cooler

• Yu Darvish struck out 10 Tampa Bay batters in a 1-0 pitchers' duel win over James Shields and the Rays. The Texas pitcher leads the majors in double-digit strikeout games with eight.

• Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo has won six straight starts since July 31 and gone at least seven innings in each of them, including a 4-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.

• A total of 29,584 Minnesota Twins fans were on hand for the team's 5-2 loss to Seattle. That's the first sub-30K crowd since Target Field opened in 2010.

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