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The Grand Slam: Arizona stops Braves' nine-game winning streak, Samardzija dominates A's debut

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Not only was he named to the National League's All-Star team Sunday, but Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks did something he hadn't done in 17 games: He hit a home run.

His two-run blast to left that dinged off the foul pole, along with a strong performance by left-hander Wade Miley, was the formula behind a 3-1 victory at Turner Field that stopped a nine-game winning streak for the Atlanta Braves.

Goldschmidt went deep in the third against Alex Wood to break a scoreless tie, and Miley allowed one run, five hits and a walk against the Braves. It was noted that Miley won a decision for the first time in nine starts since May 10. But he seems savvy about what wins and losses for pitchers actually mean when measuring performance.

''You really can't control that,'' he said. ''You've just got to go out and try to give your team a chance to win. That's the plan. You don't go out to try to get wins, you just try to get quality innings and get your offense on the field and we were able to do that and able to score enough runs today.''

Amen, brother! It was a happy way for the D-backs to end the weekend after it was announced earlier that right-hander Brandon McCarthy was traded to the Yankees. McCarthy, along with reliever Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana (to the Angels), have been dealt in the past few days in what probably marks the beginning of a roster purge.

One discouraging part of the Braves winning streak: Since it began June 27, they gained only one game in the loss column on the Washington Nationals in the NL East standings.

GREAT, NO MATTER HOW YOU SPELL IT:

A few fans had fun misspelling Jeff "Samardzija" on a banner, but he responded to the good-natured ribbing with a dominant performance in his first start for the Oakland Athletics since coming from the Cubs in a trade. Samardzija allowed a run and four hits over seven innings in a 4-1 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays. He struck out five, including the side in the seventh.

''First impressions are always important,'' said Samardzija after lowering his overall ERA to 2.74. ''Like I said yesterday, they didn't need me here. They were doing just fine without me. I don't want to come in and change anything and change the atmosphere. I just want to come in and add and do my part,'' he said.

Many noted one difference for Samardzija: Run support he didn't get with the Cubs:

ESCAPE FROM LAST PLACE: The Tampa Bay Rays swam their way out of the basement in the AL East after beating the Detroit Tigers 7-3 at Comerica Park behind left-hander David Price. The new bottom-dwellers are the Boston Red Sox. Earlier in the day, the Baltimore Orioles beat Boston 7-6 in 12 innings after blowing a five-run lead.

Price, named to the All-Star game for the fourth time, was pulled one out from a complete game after the Tigers scored one and put two more on base in the ninth. Price allowed three runs and seven hits and struck out six, but he wasn't impressed with his own work:

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(AP)

(AP)

''I guess I got 26 outs, and I would say at least 15 of them were hit right on the screws. I was asking for some 'at 'em' balls yesterday and I got them,'' he said. ''I don't know if I've ever seen that many hard-hit balls turned into outs off a starter.''

Ben Zobrist went 4 for 5 — and so did Sean Rodriguez! — and the Rays pounded 19 hits total against Rick Porcello and Detroit's bullpen.

LINCECUM'S RENAISSANCE CONTINUES: San Francisco's Tim Lincecum notched another strong start, taking a shutout into the seventh inning in a 5-3 victory against the San Diego Padres. He pitched his second career no-hitter against the Padres 11 days earlier, and held the Cardinals scoreless for eight innings in his next start. His scoreless streak reached 23 1/3 until San Diego's Brooks Conrad hit a home run in the seventh.

From the Associated Press:

Although this is not the overpowering Lincecum who won the Cy Young in consecutive years, the results are impressive.

''I'm not going to overpower teams with my stuff,'' Lincecum said. ''I'm just going to have to mix my pitches and locations. I'm doing a good job of that. I'm not missing in big spots with pitches.''

He allowed one run on three hits, walked four and struck out six.

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter!

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