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Big League Stew

The Juice: Tigers put end to A’s win streak, Matt Harvey stays hot in frigid Minnesota

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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The Oakland A's win streak had to end sometime, and that's precisely what it did on Saturday as they fell to the Tigers, 7-3. I'm sure they would have preferred the loss come against anyone other than Detroit and their ace Justin Verlander since that's the same combination that knocked them out in the ALDS last postseason, but that's how it all lined up.

Verlander, who allowed one run over six innings, got plenty of support from his offense in the win. Torri Hunter, Prince Fielder and Jhonny Peralta all homered off Brett Anderson before his fifth inning departure to give the former Cy Young a 5-1 run lead. Oakland never challenged the rest of the afternoon, and Anderson gladly takes responsibility.

''I never really got into a rhythm,'' Anderson said. ''Solo home runs don't usually beat you. The three-run homer was kind of the tip of the iceberg. That's a good lineup. I made some mistakes and they made me pay for them.''

The A's were a little short-handed as well thanks to injuries suffered in Friday night's win. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a strained muscle in his left hand. Fellow outfielder Coco Crisp is dealing with a strained left groin and continues to be day-to-day.

Harvey carves up Twinkees: New York Mets fans have something to be really, really excited about in starter Matt Harvey. The 24-year-old right-hander was lights out on a 35-degree afternoon in Minnesota, holding the Twins hitless over the first six innings. It wasn't until Justin Morneau's home run leading off the seventh that Harvey so much as flinched, and even then he did all he could to preserve his special afternoon.

''I was blowing it foul, but I knew he hit it pretty well,'' Harvey said. ''If it was going anywhere, it was going out.''

Admirable effort on several levels.

And the same can be said for the Mets offense, which struck for four in the fifth and gave Harvey all he needed in the 4-2 win.

Runs on Sale at Progressive Field: And plenty of them for the Cleveland Indians as they touched up White Sox ace Chris Sale for eight earned runs in four and one-third innings. Mark Reynolds knocked in half of those with one swing in the fifth — his fifth career grand slam. The Indians also received multiple RBIs from Nick Swisher and Yan Gomes as they cruised to the 9-1 victory.

With the loss, the White Sox have now dropped their first five road contests to begin the season.

Angels spring to life: No team needed a win on Saturday more than the Angels. They got it thanks to the Astros doing Astros things and some guy named Albert Pujols.

The ninth inning is where the action was. With two outs and the tying run on first, Mike Trout pulled a grounder down to third that should have ended the game, but clanged off the glove of Matt Dominguez. It was ruled a hit, but more importantly it signified the beginning of the end. A few pitches later, Pujols roped a two-out, two-run walkoff double down the left field line off Jose Veras to secure the 5-4 win. .

MORE SCORES

Red Sox 2, Rays 1: Tampa is done in by Shane Victorino's walkoff infield single.

Giants 3, Cubs 2: Despite Dioner Navarro's second pinch-hit home run in as many days, Cubs fall.

Orioles 5, Yankees 3: No triple plays in this game, but the Orioles did hit three home runs.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 0: St. Louis pitching has thrown three consecutive shutouts and 32 scoreless innings overall.

Pirates 3, Reds 1: Johnny Cueto leaves early with a strained right triceps. He'll be evaluated on Sunday.

Blue Jays 3, Royals 2: R.A. Dickey finally gets in the win column thanks to 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Meanwhile, James Shields goes the distance for Kansas City and allows only two hits. He also loses the game. Sound familiar?

Marlins 2, Phillies 1: Unlike Friday, the Marlins mustered a second run in the regulation to earn the win. Rookie Jose Fernandez looked dominant as well. At least when he wasn't losing to his jacket.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 5: Hyun-Jin Ryu can deal on the hill (nine strikeouts over six innings) and he can swing the lumber a little bit, too. The 26-year-old left-hander, who swings righty, collected his first three major league hits to pace the Dodgers attack.

Rangers 3, Mariners 1: After the Astros came to Safeco Field and lit up the scoreboard, Texas and Seattle have combined for eight runs in two games.

Rockies 9, Padres 5: Colorado has won all five meetings with San Diego this season.

“They’re good, I don’t think they’re better than us. They’re a good ballclub, they have talent. They’re hot right now, they only lost one game, but they’re hot. It all evens out.”

Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa comments on the Atlanta Braves, who improved to 10-1 with a 3-1 wins over the Nats. The quote comes in courtesy of Comcast Sports Net's Chase Hughes, who also got some interesting words from Stephen Strasburg.

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(USA Today)

Great technique by the fan on the bottom right. Exactly how they taught us in grade school.

• The New York Mets have homered in all 11 games this season.

• From Elias, Adam Wainwright is the first pitcher to throw a shutout with 12 or more strikeouts and three hits at plate since Red Ruffing did it with the Yankees back in 1932.

• We referenced James Shields tough luck loss earlier. According to Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan, the last pitcher to throw a complete-game two-hitter and lose was... the very same James Shields in his 15-strikeout game against Baltimore last Oct. 2.

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