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Morning Juice: The grand return of the Mariners' J.J. Putz

Big League Stew

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This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's AL roll call starts in Seattle, where it's always sunny, and the Mariners can feel a little less grungy with the return of their closer and others.

Game of the Day: Mariners 4, Orioles 2

Putz not shot: After missing the previous 18 games because of a ribcage injury, J.J. Putz protected a 2-run lead and picked up his second save, also saving the Mariners manager from having to use mirrors, Jedi mind tricks and guys with two last names (what is this, soccer?) to finish games anymore. The 6-5, 250-pound Putz, who has 88 career saves, said he was nervous (awww).

In the face! In the face!: As Putz told reporters all about it, teammate Mark Lowe sneaked his way around and got Putz in the face with a shaving cream pie. It's a time-honored if corny baseball tradition, the shaving cream pie in the face, and it's neat when one of the M's young players hands one to a 31-year-old vet. "That was awesome," Putz said as he wiped shaving cream from his eye. "I can't see, but that was awesome."

Colossus of Rhodes: Arthur Rhodes picked up his first win in almost 2 years. The long-time setup guy missed all of 2007 because of Tommy John. The surgery, not the actual left-hander who donated his name to the Baseball lexicon (right up there with Timmy Sacrifice Bunt, an outfielder with the Louisville Colonels in the 19th century).

Other great J.J.s:

• Abrams, who gave us the incomprehensible "Lost," a motion sickness-inducing monster movie and, maybe, just maybe, the first good "Star Trek" film in a while

• Walker, who was dyno-mite!

• Redick, the ACC's career scoring leader who just might have to be satisfied with that.

• Jameson, the best newspaper editor Peter Parker could ever hope for

• The Jet Plane

• Hardy, the Brewers shortstop who's killin' some fantasy teams right now. Killin'!


Feelin' Rundown (Tuesday's other games)

Indians 15, Royals 1 - C.C., pick up that guitar and, uh, talk to me. Bad, Gil "Ga" Meche, bad!

Red Sox 7, Angels 6 - Even without Beckett, D. Pedroia will destroy ya.

Yankees 9, White Sox 5 - A-breu produces while A-Rod reproduces in Miami (and his quad hurts, too).

Tigers 10, Rangers 2 - Leyland announced that Carlos Guillen is moving to third and Miguel Cabrera is moving to first. And he's not taking questions on the subject, Bless You Boys reports. So there!

Rays 6, Blue Jays 4 - Hinske uses bat to make up for badness in the field, while Evan Longoriapurr, kitty — goes deep for the first time since becoming a billionaire.

Twins 5, Athletics 4 - Craig Monroe comes in anemic, but gets a big-time transfusion whenever he faces Joe Blanton.


Photo of the Day: Hey, Vlahd, the loozah's dugout is ovah thay-ah!

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick (or maybe it's just some guy in a hoodie) commands Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero to do the nutcracker drill again until he "gets it right.


Big Talker

"I have no clue. I know they're better now." — Blanton said of Monroe's numbers (10-for-14) against him.


Fantasy Freaks (phonebook edition)

Edgar Renteria (Tigers) 4-4, 2 R, RBI

Ramon Santiago (Tigers) 2-3, HR, 3 RBI

Justin Verlander (Tigers) 6 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 3 K, Win

Jeff Mathis (Angels) 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI

Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox) 4-5, R, RBI, SB

Jacoby Ellsbury (Red Sox) 3-5, 2 HR, 3 R

Jon Papelbon (Red Sox) IP, 2 K, SV

Eric Hinske (Rays) 3-4, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI

Dioner Navarro (Rays) 3-4, R, 2 RBI

James Shields (Rays) 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, Win

Troy Percival (Rays) IP, K, SV

C.C. Sabathia (Indians) 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 11 K, Win

Casey Blake (Indians) 4-4, 2 R, HR, 6 RBI

Franklin Gutierrez (Indians) 3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI

Johnny Damon (Yankees) 3-5, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI

Bobby Abreu (Yankees) 2-4, HR, 4 RBI

Craig Monroe (Twins) 3-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI

Joe Nathan (Twins) IP, H, 3 K, SV, 0.00 ERA

J.J. Putz (Mariners) IP, H, 2 K, SV


Fantasy Flakes

Vicente Padilla (Rangers) 3 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3K, Loss

Gil Meche (Royals) 3 1/3 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, BB, 2 K, Loss

Jose Guillen (Royals!) 0-4, 4 K, .165 BA

Jack Cust (A's) 0-3, R, BB, .148 BA

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