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David Brown

Morning Juice: Yankees sweep Red Sox, claim 'We are your father'

David Brown
Big League Stew

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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 New York with the Yankees, whose inability to beat the Red Sox seems like a long, long time ago.

Game of the Day: Yankees 5, Red Sox 2

Custody battle: Who's the Daddy now? After starting the season 0-8 against their bestest pals, the Yanks won this round of paternity tests by sweeping four games from the Bostons at home for the first time in 24 seasons. Jon Lester(notes) and Andy Pettitte(notes) each deserved a victory but walk away without a decision thanks to the bullpens.

Nick Swisher(notes) probably spent all weekend coming up with this zinger:

"Listen, the Red Sox had our number," Swisher said, "but we changed cell-phone providers."

Roll your eyes ... now.

Jedi mind tricks: The Red Sox were six outs from salvaging a victory after new guy Victor Martinez(notes) walloped a two-run homer against Phil Coke(notes) in the eighth inning (which also snapped Boston's 31-inning scoreless streak). Rather than bringing in closer Jonathan Papelbon(notes) a little early to secure the biggest game of the season, Red Sox manager Terry Francona checked his wrist for the list of plays and went to rookie Daniel Bard(notes).

Indistinguishable from Josh Bard(notes) at the start of spring training, Daniel Bard has become the Red Sox's go-to guy in the eighth. Fine, but this is the Yankees in the Bronx in a pennant race in August, of which Johnny Damon(notes) and Mark Teixeira(notes) reminded Francona with back-to-back homers against Bard to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.

There goes Damon. There goes Teixeira. That's three enormous homers allowed this week by Bard, who should be barred from the eighth inning for a while.

"To be able to do that back-to-back is not an easy task, and Tex stepped up," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Big players did big things in the game tonight."

But what were Coke and Bard doing guarding leads in the eighth inning of such a big game?

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Empire Strikes back: The Yankees, winners of seven straight, have built a 6-1/2 game lead in the AL East, which they've never lost after leading by more than six games. A-Rod, whose homer in the 15th inning won Friday night's game, had another in this one.

The Red Sox, losers of six straight, must go scrambling in search of their severed hands among the rest of the AL's wild card rabble. Maybe Boston will show itself to be full of surprises and return to dominance in the sequel.

"So we'll start over," Red Sox ewok Dustin Pedroia said. "We've got a new season. Fifty-something games [to go]. We're excited about it. It's a good opportunity.

"We were winning the East, what, a week and a half ago? Anything can happen," Pedroia continued. "We just need to find ways to win. It's been tough, obviously, the last six games, but we'll grind it out."

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Feelin Rundown ( Meanwhile, in the rest of the world):

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Marlins 12, Phillies 3: Hey, we got ourselves a race in the NL East! If Jamie Moyer(notes) can't beat the Fish now, who can he beat? Old man, take a seat on the bench.

The only spark the Phillies showed all weekend was Shane Victorino arguing, from 350 away, an ump's call of a pitch. And his ejection preceded a six-run rally by the Marlins, so you see what good it did.

Braves 8, Dodgers 2: And right behind the Fish in the NL East, the Braves.

Tigers 8, Twins 7: Twinkies might have a shelf life of 10,000 years, but they also melt in the hot sun. If Ron Gardenhire could rig his rotation against the Tigers to be something like: Carl Pavano(notes)-Carl Pavano-Carl Pavano, the Twins would be all set in the head-to-head games.

Jarrod Washburn(notes) is still adjusting to the pennant race. That's a nice way of saying he stinks so far for the Tigers.

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Cardinals 7, Pirates 3: After Prince Albert of Pujols was drilled in the ribs, the sixth sense of umpire Mike Estabrook told him that Matt Capps did it on purpose, so he ejected the Pirates closer.

Capps and even Pujols pooh-poohed this, but @Tony La Russa went even further, saying the hit was ordered from the Pirates bench — and not from manager John Russell — which means he thinks pitching coach Joe Kerrigan gave the order. Looks like it's time for Tony to have a chat with Hyman Roth (above left) about why who gave the order isn't important. It's just business.

Indians 8, White Sox 4: The Tribe went on a good run against the top of the AL Central, which probably says more about the Tigers, Twins and White Sox than it does the Indians ... Ozzie Guillen alibied that Jose Contreras(notes), who is from Cuba, struggled because of the hot weather. That's like an Inuit complaining it's too cold to have a snowball fight.

Astros 2, Brewers 0: Where Yovani Gallardo(notes) goes, shutouts follow. The Brewers have scored no runs in four of his starts ... This might have slipped past your radar, but the Brewers traded for David Weathers(notes). He would have looked good on an actual contender.

Rockies 11, Cubs 5: After an umpire blew this call, Lou Piniella blew his top and was ejected ... Piniella — who shouldn't necessarily be taken at face value — claims he then "took a nap and didn't watch the whole game" inside the Cubs clubhouse. That makes two of us (except for being in the clubhouse).

Did you know the Cubs have won two series all season against teams that currently have winning records? They beat the Cards and Fish in April.

Mariners 11, Rays 2: The M's are only 4 1/2 games behind the wild-card co-leaders, Boston and Texas. I think the three top candidates for AL Manager of the Year (there's a hot topic of conversation in the blogosphere) are all in the AL West. In order: Don Wakamatsu, Mike Scioscia and Ron Washington.

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Sentencing (one stanza per game):

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Rangers 7, Angels 0: Two of the past three starts for Derek Holland(notes) have been absolutely exquisite.

Blue Jays 7, Orioles 3: This start could have been for a contender, it could have been for somebody in the race, but it's just Roy Halladay's(notes) 10th straight and 20th career victory against Baltimore.

Nationals 9, D-backs 2: An eight-game winning streak gives the Nats 40 overall victories and a commanding lead on Adam Dunn's(notes) homers (30) with 50 games to go.

Athletics 6, Royals 3: With a recent surge, the A's (93) jumped ahead (or is it behind?) the Royals (92) for least homers in the AL.

Reds 5, Giants 2: At 13 starts long, you might say that was one harangue of a losing streak for Aaron Harang(notes).

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One and Done

Mets 5, Padres 1: Johantasticl!

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