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.
It's over: Aroldis Chapman may still be an untouchable reliever, but we'll now have to add "virtually" in front of that description to make it accurate. The fireballing Cincinnati Reds reliever finally allowed his first earned run of the season on Thursday night, serving a RBI double to Pittsburgh backup catcher Michael McKenry in a 5-4 loss in 10 innings at Great American Ballpark.
Chapman had gone a club-record 24 appearances and 29 innings in 2012 without surrendering an earned run. But he got himself into trouble by surrendering a leadoff double to Clint Barmes. McKendry then went opposite field with a 99 mph fastball for only the ninth hit that Chapman has allowed all season. McKenry was an unlikely candidate to end the streak — his batting average is a woeful .193 — but he said he was up for the challenge.
''He's a special guy with a special arm,'' McKenry told reporters. ''You've got to prepare for the 100 mph fastball. You can't think about anything else.''
The win allowed the Pirates to win the series and move their record to 29-27, just two games behind the Reds in the NL Central standings. There's a certain sense of 2011 déjà vu here given that they're outperforming their peripherals, but they're about to enter a challenging part of their schedule. Their next 15 games come against American League teams, including road series against Cleveland and Baltimore.
Rays sidestep sweep attempt: A quick glance at the facts of this one might give you the impression that Joe Maddon's squad didn't do so well. David Price only pitched five innings and 12 different Rays marched back to the dugout after being struck out by CC Sabathia. And yet it didn't matter as Tampa Bay managed a 7-3 win over the Yankees to avoid a sweep. It was all about timing in this one as David Price protected an early four-run lead by retiring his last two batters of the night while the Yankees had the bases loaded. His 11-pitch battle against A-Rod was something to see. (As were the all-white threads the Rays donned for their flight to Miami.)
Anything you can do, I can do better: No, that wasn't Giancarlo Stanton crushing the ball at Marlins Park on Thursday night. It was just Jason Heyward doing his best boomstick impression of Stanton, mashing two home runs during Atlanta's 8-2 victory over the Marlins. Both homers traveled over 430 feet with this ninth-inning blast off Edward Mujica clearing the deepest part of the park in center field.
Dickey beats Wang: The much-tittered about "Battle of the Bulge" went to the winningest pitcher in the bigs at the Mets' R.A. Dickey threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 3-1 win over Washington. Dickey's record improved to 9-1 while his scoreless innings streak hit 24 2/3. Chien-Ming Wang only made one mistake, but paid for it as Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer, his fifth in his last eight games.
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Quote of the Day:
''I never put it up to a level. I just feel how hot my face gets ... (It's) pretty damn hot."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel on his frustration level after an 8-3 loss to Los Angeles. The Dodgers left town with a four-game sweep, their first in Philadelphia since 1946.
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Photo of the Day: Puerto Rican Pride
No. 1 draft pick Carlos Correa signed for a below-slot signing bonus of $4.8 million with the Houston Astros on Thursday afternoon, then hurried out to take batting practice at Minute Maid Park. The 17-year-old rubbed shoulders with many of the big leaguers he hopes to one day join, including fellow Puerto Rican Carlos Beltran.
"I want to be a leader. I want to be the face of the franchise," Correa said. "My goal is to reach the Hall of Fame."
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Three facts for the water cooler
• Boston's Clay Buchholz went the distance in a 7-0 win over Baltimore at Fenway Park for the third complete shutout of his career. All three have come against the Orioles with the first being the no-hitter he threw in his second career start on Sept. 1, 2007.
• The A's have scored 33 runs in their last six games after scoring just 32 in their previous 16. A 7-1 victory on Thursday allowed them to take three of four games from the Rangers.
• The White Sox are 15-4 in their last 19 games and stopped a two-game skid when Orlando Hudson hit a RBI single for a 4-3 win over Toronto at U.S. Cellular Field.