Nine innings and nine items to get you going. Ladies and gentleman of the Stew, take a sip of morning Juice.
1. Ned? Ned Ryerson?! Bing!: The Seattle Mariners got punched in the face like the guy in "Groundhog Day" for the 15th straight time (a team record), falling 12-8 to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday. Two-thousand year-old knuckleballer Tim Wakefield(notes) picked up his 2,000th career strikeout, and the bottom of Boston's batting order dominated Michael Pineda(notes) and others.
Manager Eric Wedge shaving his biker mustache the day before was meant to help, but it only hurts more now that it's gone. Shortstop Brendan Ryan(notes) hit a grand slam for the M's, who were 2 1/2 games out of first place July 5 — the date of their most recent victory. So, why can't you guys stop this nonsense?
"It seems like once again it's Groundhog Day," Ryan said. "This is definitely frustrating. There aren't too many laughs now. There shouldn't be."
2. The Dropsy: The White Sox caught a break when Cleveland's Ezequiel Carrera(notes) couldn't catch Adam Dunn's(notes) fly ball to center, dropping it for an error that let in two runs in the sixth inning. The outfielder stumbled, lost sight of the ball in the sun — as his sunglasses remained on his head — and basically handed Chicago a 4-2 victory.
4. Hey, Chicago, whaddya say?: The Cubs are not in first place, but they have won three straight for the first time this season after dropping the Astros 5-4 in 10 innings. They also hadn't won three in a row at Wrigley in nearly two years until Jeff Baker(notes) ended the game with a pinch-hit RBI single. Baby steps!
5. One, but we're not the same: The Giants have won seven of 10 since the All-Star break after edging the Brewers 2-1. All the Giants do is "edge"; After getting another solid outing by Madison Bumgarner(notes), they're 27-13 in one-run games. And now it's on to the White House to meet the Debt Ceiling.
6. You fools!: It's statistically foolish to look for indicators in a small sample like a four-game series, but the way the Detroit Tigers handled the Minnesota Twins — by taking three of four after winning 5-2 behind Rick Porcello(notes) in the finale — I'll bet $1 that the Tigers will finish ahead of the Twinkies in the AL Central.
7. Do that voodoo that you do, Drew: Scott Linebrink(notes) has a tendency to allow home runs, and Drew Stubbs(notes) pounced on the probability by hitting a leadoff homer in the ninth inning to send the Reds to a 4-3 victory against the Braves. Cincy hadn't won back-to-back games in over a month.
8. Teenage slugger: Mike Trout(notes) hit his first major league homer in the Angels 9-3 victory at Baltimore. Did he get the ball back? He did. What did it cost him? An autographed ball and a photo. Is that the end of the story? Nope. We'll tell you more later.
9. For Micah: Right-hander Micah Owings(notes) had an RBI single in Arizona's 7-0 victory against the Rockies. Oh, and he pitched five shutout innings. (And Justin Upton(notes) had a pretty good day as well, putting a cap on a great week.)