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The Juice: Tigers pounce on Astros in 14th inning; Haren sharp as Nats split series with Braves

Big League Stew

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This was a good example of how scary the Detroit Tigers lineup can be — even when opposing pitchers avoid Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.

In the 14th inning of Thursday's game with the Houston Astros, Austin Jackson led off with a double for the Tigers. After advancing to third on a Torii Hunter groundout, the Astros had a decision to make. They could pitch to Cabrera and Fielder or they could load up the bases. Either way, a daunting situation.

Cabrera and Fielder got their intentional walks, which put Don Kelly in a position to be a hero. He singled to put the Tigers ahead 4-3, then Matt Tuiasosopo followed with a two-run double. Jhonny Peralta hit a sac fly, and this thing started to look more like another Astros beatdown than a nail-biting, 14-inning marathon. Final score: 7-3.

''Those are the opportunities that you want,'' Kelly said. ''If I'm managing in the other dugout, I'm walking Miggy and Prince, too. That's a smart move."

Here's one interesting fact: Both teams struck out 18 times.

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(USA Today)

Hero Haren guides Nats to 3-1 win: Dan Haren looked like the Dan Haren of old Thursday, finally sharp in a Washington Nationals uniform. Haren pitched eight strong innings, his longest outing of the season, helping the Nats beat the Atlanta Braves for the second straight day.

That's important, because the Nats had lost nine straight to the division-rival Braves dating back to last season. Haren gave up only four hits and one run, efficiently using 92 pitches through eight frames.

''I'm not going to care about velocity anymore,'' Haren said with a smile. ''I'm sick of that. It just gives me problems. I'm just going to be myself out there. Whether it's 88 or 85 (mph), I don't really care. I know I can get people out.''

MORE SCORES

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Orioles 5, Angels 1: The O's usual suspects — Nate McLouth, Chris Davis and Manny Machado — beat up on Joe Blanton (0-5) and the Angels.

Cardinals 6, Brewers 5: The Cards get six runs in the third and hold off the Brewers, who scored four in the final three innings. Jake Westbrook gets his 100th career win.

White Sox 3, Rangers 1: Hector Santiago fills in and gets the W after Jake Peavy's scratched.

Royals-Rays (postponed): Rain/snow stopped this one with the Royals up 1-0 in the fourth. The game will be re-played. No date yet.

Phillies 7, Marlins 2: Domonic Brown and Ryan Howard, gone fishin'.

Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Red Sox happily accept 10 walks from J.A. Happ and the Blue Jays bullpen.

Padres 4, Cubs 2: The Padres get a "funky" four-run eighth inning to rally for the win.

''I said, 'Let's throw down some dirt and let's try to get it in'," — Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur, about Thursday's rain-canceled game.

It was called in the fourth inning and needed one more to become an official game.

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Erick Aybar: turning a double play or practicing pro wrestling moves? You decide.

• Juan Pierre became the 14th player to reach 600 stolen bases when he stole third against the Phillies.

• Domonic Brown's home run on Thursday left the park in 3.19 seconds, according to ESPN Stats & Info, making it the speediest homer this season.

• The Red Sox's 20-8 start is their best since 2002.

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