The Juice: Alex Avila walkoff caps Tigers sweep of Red Sox, Yankees also fall to 0-3

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.

Red Sox swept again: Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila served up a heaping slice of déja vu at Comerica Park on Sunday afternoon, hitting a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning off Boston reliever Mark Melancon. The shot gave the Tigers, who had tied the score on Miguel Cabrera's three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, a thrilling 13-12 victory over the Red Sox and a sweep of the three-game set.

You don't have to search your memory banks too hard to recall this sort of early-season angst in New England: Boston started the 2011 season with six straight losses.

Avila, who also caught 206 pitches on the day, joked that he was almost too exhausted to get around the bases on his homer. Check out video of his game-ender, plus other highlights:

The Sawx weren't the only ones who got broom'd:  At least the Red Sox have some pleasant company to share in the misery of an 0-fer to start the season. The Rays swept the Yankees with a strong 3-0 win behind Jeremy Hellickson while the D-backs continued their recent dominance of the Giants with a 7-6 triumph after trailing by six runs at Chase Field. If you're going to be swept to start the season, it might as well be by a team that made the playoffs the previous fall, right?

Dueling no-no watches: The Mets and the Orioles were the two other teams to walk away from the weekend with three victories— yes, you read that right — and they both did it by entertaining no-hit bids on Sunday. The Mets' Jonathon Niese attempted to become the first pitcher in franchise history to throw a no-hitter, but fell victim to a high pitch count and Freddie Freeman in the seventh inning of a 7-5 win over Atlanta. Jason Hammel, meanwhile, made a pretty good first impression in Baltimore, taking a no-hitter into the eighth during his first start in an O's uniform — a 3-1 win against Minnesota.

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Photo of the Day:

Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago Cubs gets a shaving cream pie in the face from giddy teammate Matt Garza following a 4-3 victory against the Washington Nationals. Samardzija had a solid season in the bullpen a year ago but expressed a desire to start and looked great in helping the Cubs improve to 1-2. He outpitched Jordan Zimmermann, allowing three runs — one earned — and four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.

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Quote of the Day:

"I've talked a good game about wanting to start and made it public. I didn't want to look like an idiot." — Samardzija

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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• The Red Sox and New York Yankees are both off to 0-3 starts — the first time that's happened since 1966, according to STATS LLC.

• The Mets and the Padres are the only teams that have never thrown a no-hitter. That's a combined drought of 14,037 games.

• Go crazy, Houston! After taking two of three games from the Colorado Rockies this weekend, the Houston Astros are above .500 for the first time since 2009.

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