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Morning Juice: Orioles befuddle Nolan Ryan, rest of Rangers

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 the Republic of Texas, where the Orioles, so far, continue to look nothing like the Dirty Birdies who dropped 93 games last season.

Game of the Day

Orioles 8, Rangers 1

Anything's an improvement: Lefty Brian Burres allowed a run and pitched into the 7th, helping the Birds with their sixth straight. The previous time Burres faced the Rangers, he bled 8 ER and 8 H over 2/3 of an inning in Texas' 30-3 colossal drubbing — perhaps the lowest point in Orioles history, other than the 0-21 to start '88 back in the Larry Sheets days.

Fo' Fo' Fo': Aubrey Huff, still celebrating his exile from Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg, went 4-4 with 4 RBIs, saying, "We’re relaxed. Everybody’s written us off."

Express outta town: After becoming just the second native Texan after Nolan Ryan to start a Rangers home opener, righty Jason Jennings got drilled for oil again — he has allowed 8 runs and 4 homers in two starts.

Scout in the stands: Scott Moore hit a homer to give the O's an early lead, pretty much doing what a dude on Camden Chat said Moore would do if given a shot to play.


Rundown feelin' (Tuesday's other games)

Red Sox 5, Tigers 0 — Before sending the Tigers to 0-7, Beantown showed off all of its bling in an epic pregame celebration of everything that Boston has ever won — from the Patriots' Lombardi Trophies, to the Celtics' Larry O'Brien Trophies, to the Bruins' Stanley Cups, to the teabags some rascals dunked into Boston Harbor 200+ years ago. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon also raised their Oscars for "Good Will Hunting," and a spelling ribbon Kevin Youkilis took home in the third grade also made the rounds. Composer John Williams showed off the medal he won for helping to destroy the Death Star. Aerosmith displayed their sobriety medallions. Most touching was the reception Bill Buckner received. After he emerged from the Green Monster (where the city has kept him chained to a radiator since 1986), Buckner received a warm standing "O." Buckner had long been tormented as supposed goat for blowing Game 6 of '86 World Series (when Bob Stanley, Calvin Schiraldi and others should have been in the team photo), but he cried tears of joy at his reception. Let the healing continue!

Athletics 9, Blue Jays 8 — The Sweeney squad won this one: Mike Sweeney, the Jedi Master Sweeney, broke up a double play to keep a big inning going. Ryan Sweeney, the Young Padawan Sweeney, hit a go-ahead triple in the ninth. Neither is related, by the way, to Mark Sweeney, The Pinch-Hitting Sweeney, who briefly was implicated in baseball's drugs scandal after Barry Bonds reportedly mistook Mark's locker for a CVS/Pharmacy.

Royals 4, Yankees 2 — A-Rod went 4-for-4 — striking out four times (his own line) — and KC improved to 5-2 behind righty Brian Bannister. Jorge Posada has a "dead arm" and might join Jeetah on the DL. Who are the Yankees and who are the Royals, here, anyway?

Mariners 6, Rays 5 — Only the ninth sellout crowd in Tampa history (would you go?) watched the M's break a 4-game losing streak. Of course they did. The Rays, who put righty Matt Garza on the DL with an irritated nerve in his elbow, are like the one-legged guy in a race with a pregnant lady. They need a pinch runner.

Indians 4, Angels 3Travis Hafner does a YouTube video response to Torii Hunter's game-ending grand slam the night before by hitting a 2-run, go-ahead shot in the ninth. Waiting For Next Year has more.


Photo of the Day: Open Up And Say 'Fenway Paahhhhk!'

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Rocker Steven Tyler, frontman of Aerosmith and a Boston native, does his best Kate Smith impersonation in leading the Fenway Park crowd in singing "God Bless America."


Fantasy Freaks

Daisuke Matsuzaka (Red Sox) 6 2/3 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 7 K, Win

Joey Gathright (Royals) 2-4, 2 R, 3 SB

Vernon Wells (Blue Jays) 2-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI

Aaron Hill (Blue Jays) 4-4, R, 2 RBI

Jake Westbrook (Indians) 9 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 4 K


Fantasy Flakes

Kenji Johjima (Mariners) 0-4, K, .080 BA

Michael Young (Rangers) 0-4, .207 BA

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 0-2, 2 BB, .100 BA

Placido Polanco (Tigers) 1-3, .115 BA, E-4

A.J. Burnett (Blue Jays) 4 2/3 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6.75 ERA


Big Talker

“The ring had been put in my locker at some point during the game. I tried it on, and I must say it looked pretty good.” — Matsuzaka, who missed the World Series ring presentation because he was warming up in the bullpen.

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