The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.
Move over, Los Angeles: The San Francisco Giants moved into a share of first place in the NL West on Wednesday with a 3-0 win that secured a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Giants pitching shut out the Dodgers' bats for the entire series at AT&T Park.
The Dodgers almost notched a run in the third but a stellar play by catcher Hector Sanchez and pitcher Tim Lincecum ended that dream. With Chad Billingsley streaking toward home on a wild pitch, Sanchez tracked down the ball and whipped it toward the 168-pound Lincecum, who stood his ground against the 240-pound Billingsley for an out and an awkward collision.
"It's funny how the ugly thing kind of worked out to a pretty cool thing,'' Lincecum said. ''I didn't want him to get a run. I'm not much to go through but he was going to have to go through me to get to the plate.''
Time will tell if the ailing Dodgers recover, but it's hard not to feel like this will end up being a huge turning point in the season. Lincecum threw seven scoreless innings for his first run-free outing of the season. If the Freak gets back on track for a rotation that's already been great without him, watch out.
The ascension continues: The Angels' raging redemption party hit another milestone by moving into a share of the wild-card lead with a 13-1 win at Baltimore. The Halos are nine games over .500 and have gone 36-19 after a dismal 6-14 start to the year. The team's offense has been clicking on all cylinders, collecting a total of 20 runs and 33 hits in the two-game sweep of the O's.
Party prep: The Kansas City Royals want to straighten up a bit as they prepare to host the upcoming All-Star game and Jeff Francoeur said the team set a goal of being .500 by the time everyone comes to town on July 9. That might be a tough task with the team currently 34-39, but this week's sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays — sealed with three home runs and a 5-4 win — certainly helps the thought. And if they want to hit that magical even-water mark, they really have to keep up the pace. They'll now head out on an 11-game, 10-day road trip that leads them straight into the Midsummer Classic.
L'il help there: Rookie Lucas Harrell threw a six-hit, complete game shutout for Houston in a 1-0 win over the Padres at Minute Maid Park. But his effort might have gone for naught had he not received a little help from the arm of left fielder J.D. Martinez in the ninth inning.
Everybody hits: Ike Davis' season average finally went above .200 as the Mets' first baseman went 3 for 5 with four RBIs in a 17-1 smothering of Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs. It was the most runs the Mets had scored since Sept. 5, 2010 when they scored 18 — also against the Cubs.
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Quote of the Day
"No one's going to feel sorry for us."
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Photo of the Day: "You put your right foot in ... "
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Three facts for the water cooler:
• The Washington Nationals tagged Rockies pitching for double-digits for the second straight day in an 11-5 win at Coors Field. Simply put, Colorado's pitching is atrocious. As Troy Renck reports, Rockies' starters are 13-35 with a 6.46 ERA. A Rockies starter hasn't been credited with a pitching win since June 4.
• Are the Red Sox making a run for daylight? A 10-4 win over Toronto allowed the Boston Red Sox to move into a share of third place in the AL East with a 40-35 record. Boston has won five straight series and this is the first time all season that they haven't inhabited fourth or fifth place.