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.
Central tightens: A sweep at the hands of the Royals wasn't an ideal way for the Detroit Tigers to enter their weekend series with the first place Chicago White Sox, but the defending AL Central division champions were able to get that taste out of their mouth quickly thanks to a Miguel Cabrera two-run homer in the first inning. From there the rivals would trade blows the deciding seventh inning. That's where the much maligned Delmon Young delivered a bases clearing double (including Prince Fielder from first base) to provide the difference in Detroit's 7-4 win. A win, by the way, that pulls them back to within two games of the Sox with two games left this weekend.
Reynolds' raps two: Without an RBI for two weeks coming in, Baltimore Orioles slugger Mark Reynolds broke his drought in a big way, connecting for two home runs in their 6-1 win over the New York Yankees. Reynolds also added a spectacular diving grab of a Russell Martin line drive in the third, which was actually one of the few hard hit balls starter Miguel Gonzalez would allow. The Orioles right-hander ended up throwing seven scoreless and struck out nine in the win, helping the Orioles move to within two games of the division lead.
Volstad the Unbeatable: After a winless stretch covering 24 starts and 413 days, Chicago Cubs right-hander Chris Volstad has now secured back-to-back victories after a 6-4 win over the San Francisco Giants. Volstad, who snapped his streak with six and two-thirds scoreless against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, held the Giants to two runs over five and two-thirds and was the beneficiary of a four-run fourth inning rally that included Alfonso Soriano's 24th homer and a wild little league style trip around the bases for Wellington Castillo.
Oh, Kratz!: That phrase, or something close to it, was likely uttered by Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbral after Philadelphia's Eric Kratz tied the game with a ninth inning home run, giving him his fourth blown save in 36 chances this season. But the anguish didn't end there for Kimbral or the Braves. One inning later, John Mayberry connected for a three-run homer off Cristhian Martinez to give the spoiling Phillies a 8-5 victory.
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Quote of the Day: "When he makes his speech for Cy Young Award, make sure he mentions the Marlins, please.''
Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen on being shut out by R.A. Dickey in their 3-0 loss to the New York Mets and their overall contributions to his Cy Young bid. In four starts against Miami this season, Dickey has posted a 4-0 record, a 1.16 ERA, and has shut them out twice. Impressive numbers to be sure. But, then again, this was the 15th time Miami has been shutout in 2012.
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Photo of the Day: Battle scarsToronto Blue Jays catcher Jeff Mathis. And unfortunately for Johnson, it was for naught, as he was gunned down for the final out in the Rays 2-1 loss.
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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:
[Tim Brown: Dodgers' bloated roster starting to show cracks]
• Just when you think things can't get any worse for the Boston Red Sox, they drop a 20-2 decision to the Oakland A's. That's Boston's most lopsided loss since falling to the Yankees 22-1 on June 19, 2000.
• Chase Headley knocked in a run in the Padres 5-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies, giving him 31 RBIs for the month. That was tops in all of baseball.
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- Chicago White Sox
- Chris Volstad
- Mark Reynolds