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Big League Stew

The Juice: Yoenis Cespedes hits first walk-off home run as A’s complete sweep of Dodgers

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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.

Yo Blue, you got swept!: Yoenis Cespedes' early hype may have been tempered by a stint on the DL and the arrival of Misters Harper and Trout, but he's doing his best to bring the spotlight back to his person. The latest feat for the Oakland A's rookie outfielder: Roping a game-ending three-run homer off Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Josh Lindblom to give the A's a 4-1 victory and a three-game series sweep of the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon.

The first walk-off homer of Cespedes' major-league career was a low liner that just tucked its way inside the foul pole. If you didn't think at first that the the baseball was leaving the park, you're not alone. Neither did Cespedes.

''I knew it was in fair territory, but I didn't know it would be a home run,'' Cespedes told reporters. ''I'm very happy. My teammates said, 'You always do so much, you've hit key home runs to put us ahead, but you still need a walkoff.'"

And a walk-off was just what he took. Though the highlight was ripe for a mob scene at home plate, Cespedes and his teammates took special care not to reinjure his hamstring while crossing home. The A's have won eight of their last nine games with Cespedes posting a .382/.400/.735 line with two homers and nine RBIs since returning from the DL on June 1.

Berry Fresh: Also getting into the first-time walk-off act on Thursday afternoon was Detroit's Quintin Berry. The outfielder's single with the bases loaded gave the Tigers a 2-1 win over the Cardinals in 10 innings and put the 27-year-old rookie in an unfamiliar position.

''I've never had a walk-off before,'' the Detroit outfielder said. ''I showed it out there, jumping around, acting crazy. You don't know what to do with yourself."

The Tigers received an uneventful five innings from prospect Jacob Turner en route to their seventh win in their last 10 games. Despite a middling start to their season, they're only 2.5 games behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central.

See you in October?: Is there any doubt that a Nats-Rays World Series would be a fun one given the way that the pine tar drama gripped this interleague series? Washington owns the bragging rights until then, though, with Thursday's 5-2 win serving as the series clincher. Joel Peralta was tagged with the loss after serving up a two-run double to Danny Espinosa in the sixth; he plans to appeal the eight-game suspension that he received for being caught with pine tar on his glove during Tuesday's series opener.

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Quote of the day:

"Look around, bro. Look around. Playing here used to be so much fun. Now, every day is something new. Not related to baseball. People need to leave us alone, play ball and do what we know how to do."

Red Sox DH David Ortiz during a rant about Boston media. His team would go on to manage a 6-5 comeback win over the Marlins, securing a series sweep at Fenway.

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Photo of the day: Brothers don't shake hands, brothers gotta hug.

View photo

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Members of the Florida State baseball team embrace after being eliminated from the College World Series. (AP)

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Three facts for the water cooler

• Oakland Coliseum has been a nightmare for the Dodgers since interleague play began. They haven't won a game there since 2001 and are 2-12 overall since 1997.

• Pittsburgh's James McDonald has allowed one run or fewer in nine of his 14 starts this season. The right-hander pitched the first complete game of his career (and the first for the Pirates this season) in a 9-1 win over Minnesota. His season ERA now rests at 2.19.

• At 36-33, the Red Sox are three games over .500. That's the highest they've been all season.

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