Morning Juice: Padres try, but can't bring Dodgers back to Earth

David Brown
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This and every weekday a.m. during baseball season, let's rise and shine together to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in San Diego, where the Padres put a lot of work into a ninth-inning rally that erased a 6-1 deficit, only to have the Dodgers up and win anyway.

Game of the Day

Dodgers 7, Padres 6 (13 inn.)

Beat L.A.?: With Manny resting his ego on the bench, the Dodger Dogs offered bad omens all day, leaving 14 runners stranded including the bases loaded twice. And yet, thanks to Chad Billingsley(notes), they took a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Despite being south of 100 pitches, Billingsley did not have a complete game in his right arm, giving up a home run and double before Jonathan Broxton(notes) took over.

Brox didn't have a save in his right arm, either, with Will Venable(notes), Eliezer Alfonzo(notes) and Everth Cabrera(notes) each coming through to tie the score. The Mighty Dodgers were going down, and not just today. This would be the beginning of the end, the day the Dodgers died.

Not even close. The best team in baseball continued to be resilient, with Jeff Weaver(notes) holding down the fort until James Loney(notes) connected for a homer against the Mujica Man. L.A. improved to 18-8 in one-run games.

"I guess this is the product of the fact that we have played so many close games," manager Joe Torre said. "Even though we were emotionally drained after that ninth inning, we go out there and worked at it."

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Ooh, Bean Weaver: Weaver did yeoman work, pitching three scoreless innings in waiting out Loney's game-winner. But when did he start looking like British actor Sean Bean? Either that, or Poison's lost keyboardist.

Doubling up: First, San Diego had Simon and Simon. Then it gave the world Gonzalez y Gonzalez. Now, the Padres lay claim to Banks and Blanks (Josh and Kyle), the first such B(l)anks combination in major league history. Welcome.

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Feelin' Rundown (Sean Bean does not appear in these games):

Red Sox 8, Mariners 4: League bylaws prohibit an M's sweep in Boston, so Big Papi stepped forward on behalf of the commissioner's office with a key RBI single in a five-run seventh.

Cardinals 10, Reds 1: Three cheers (or one if you're pooped) for Cards closer Ryan Franklin(notes), who made his first All-Star team at the ripe old age of 36.

"Aw, man, it meant a whole lot," Franklin said. "There was a lot of tossing and turning, a few good dreams, a few bad dreams — about not making it. It's a cool feeling. I just can't wait to experience it."

Rangers 5, Rays 2: Sweep-a-roo for the StRangers, who limit Ben Zobrist(notes), Carlos Pena(notes) and Longoria to a combined 1-for-30 in the three-game set.

Chris Davis(notes), whose 114 strikeouts lead the majors and whose .202 batting average doesn't, is headed to the minors for some tweakage.

Marlins 5, Pirates 0: Ricky Nolasco(notes) (12 Ks) has a 1.54 ERA in six starts since returning from the minors. Whatever they did to him, he don't want to go back for more.

Yankees 10, Blue Jays 8: They gave Mariano Rivera(notes) a day off, so Alfredo Aceves(notes) picked up a save after going four one-hit innings. "Gawjus," the Bronx crowd said in unison.

C-M Wang's back in the parking lot after going on the DL with a shoulder owie.

Cubs 8, Brewers 2: Ryan Braun has Ted Lilly(notes) envy.

Athletics 5, Indians 2: How about sending Cliff Lee(notes) the Brewers' way for Mat Gamel(notes)? Ryan Braun would do it.

Astros 7, Giants 1: Randy Unit really looked his age in this one, which was full of awkward throws to first, awkward throws home and awkward swings at the plate by the ancient ex-Mariner, who is hurt.

Royals 6, White Sox 3: Some of Brian Bannister's(notes) fondest childhood memories are of hanging around Comiskey Park with the likes of Ozzie Guillen, Harold Baines and Greg Walker in the '80s. Some of his most recent memories include the current White Sox team — with Guillen, Baines and Walker on the coaching staff — beating his brains in. So, it was only fair to have a solid game against them for once.

D-backs 4, Rockies 3: Dan Haren(notes) allowed three earned runs, his worst outing since May 23. The man is sick! Mark Reynolds(notes) is among the five guys up for the last spot on the NL All-Star team. Vote here if you love democracy.

Twins 6, Tigers 2: Brandon Inge(notes) hands it to Nick Blackburn(notes), who lived on the edge all day (but in a good way).

"Everything else was black corner, black corner," Inge said. "He was incredible on spotting his pitches. Not just fastballs: It was fastballs, sliders, curve balls, sinkers in. I mean, he was very impressive."

Phillies 2, Mets 0: Johan Blanton beats Joe Santana. The Phillies admitted they wanted to take advantage of a weakened Mets club while they could. You know, the whole "wounded animal is dangerous" thing.

Yeah, laying out the opossum trap for Alex Cora(notes) wasn't the most humane act, but it's one less victory they'll need in September, isn't it?

Nationals 5, Braves 3: Scott Olsen(notes) should make a bet with himself: Refrain from smoking a whole pack of cigarettes until he pitches a complete game.

Angels 9, Orioles 6: Eight walks helped fuel the 23rd comeback victory for the Halos this season. Home runs in back-to-back games for Vladimir Guerrero(notes) for the first time in nearly a year.