The Juice: Vogelsong outduels Kershaw in Giants win, Anthony Rizzo makes Cubs debut count

David Brown
June 27, 2012

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.

Giant cheapskates: The San Francisco Giants shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second time in a row, and Ryan Vogelsong outpitched Clayton Kershaw for the second time this season in a 2-0 victory at AT&T Park on Tuesday night. Vogelsong, who went seven innings, lowered his ERA to 1.85 at home the past two seasons. The Giants also shaved the Dodgers lead to one game in the NL West, the closest second-place San Francisco has been to first place since the first day of the season. Melky Cabrera delivered melk a home run and Pablo Sandoval drove in the other run for the Giants, who blanked the Dodgers in San Francisco for a second straight game for the first time since 1987. L.A. has dropped seven of eight. At least Matt Kemp still controls the All-Star game's Home Run Derby.

This Rizzo ain't no Muppet: The Chicago Cubs first baseman of the future arrived in the present and delivered two hits, driving in the go-ahead run in a 5-3 victory against the Mets. Welcome to Chicago, Anthony Rizzo. May we call you "Tony"? OK, Anthony it is. Rizzo, who turns 23 in August, hit .342 with 23 homers at Triple-A after coming over from the Padres system over the winter. Cubs fans had been begging for him to be called up, because nothing else is going well on the North Side, so why not? Originally a product of the Boston system (he was part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade), Rizzo didn't hit well in a 49-game trial a season ago with San Diego. But that was then, and these are the Cubs.

Pretty boy at last: Gavin Floyd had not beaten the Minnesota Twins in a span of eight starts since 2009, so he was due. Floyd shut out the Twins for seven innings, striking out nine in a 3-2 victory for the Chicago White Sox at Target Field. Alex Rios hit a two-run homer for the White Sox, who staved off a ninth-inning rally by Minnesota after losing the shutout. Kevin Youkilis had a single in four at-bats, in case you're wondering how the trade from Boston is going.

Yu like it in Texas: Yu Darvish continued to be difficult to beat on home ground for the Texas Rangers in a 7-5 victory against Detroit. Darvish, who allowed four runs and four hits over seven innings, has been credited with a victory in each of his first seven starts at Rangers Ballpark. He also had 10 strikeouts, reaching double digits for the fourth time, and seemed to adapt well to the 100-plus degree heat recorded at game time. Via the Elias Sporting Bureau: Other than Darvish, the only other pitcher in the past 50 years to win his first seven career home starts was Carlos Perez, who won eight for the Montreal Expos in 1995. So there's that. Prince Fielder drove in four runs for the Tigers, who slipped to 36-38.

You don't get to decide, Bronson: Cincinnati Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo was spinning a no-hit, no-walk game for seven innings before unraveling a bit in the eighth and losing the shutout. But Drew Stubbs, fresh off the disabled list, hit a go-ahead solo home run against John Axford on the first pitch of the bottom of the eighth in a 4-3 victory. The Brewers dropped 8 1/2 games out of first in the NL Central, which apparently prompted Aroldis Chapman to do remedial somersaults after getting the save.

* * *

Quote of the Day: ''That's how I play the game, really relaxed. Everybody always tells me it looks like I'm not even trying. I like hearing that a lot.'' — Anthony Rizzo

* * *

Photo of the Day: High as Jose Altuve.

Carlos Lee (left) and Jed Lowrie engage in a high-five after Houston's 5-3 victory against San Diego.

* * *

Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• Albert Pujols hit one of four Angels home run runs in a 7-3 victory at Baltimore's Camden Yards, giving The Machine a deep in 33 different ballparks against 282 different pitchers.

• Carlos Ruiz collected three hits for the Phillies in a 5-4 victory against the Pirates and leads the NL in batting average (.361). Even better, Philly is out of last place in the NL East and Chase Utley could make his season debut Wednesday night after an injury rehab stint in the minors.

• An all-Hudson pitching matchup was short-lived. Tightness in the right forearm cut short Daniel Hudson's outing for Arizona. Tim Hudson gave up a run over eight innings in Atlanta's 8-1 victory.

Love baseball? Even like it a little?
Follow @AnswerDave, @bigleaguestew, @KevinKaduk on Twitter,
along with the BLS Facebook page!