The Juice: Blue Jays knock five homers en route to first win; Nationals stay undefeated

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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Oh, these are the Toronto Blue Jays who are "built to score runs."

The Jays — a sexy pick for this season — had gone 0-2 to start the year and scored only three runs. Then came Thursday, when Toronto clubbed five homers and beat the Cleveland Indians 10-8 for its first win of the season.

J.P. Arencibia hit two home runs for the Blue Jays, while Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion each left the yard. Mark Buehrle started for the Jays, and gave up six runs himself in 5 1/3 innings. He took a no-decision, but joked afterward that "the wind was blowing out." The game, of course, was indoors.

Nats stay undefeated: The Washington Nationals, powered by Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper, remained undefeated on Thursday, beating the Miami Marlins 6-1. Of course, they were playing the Marlins, so take that for what its worth.

With the Indians losing and the Blue Jays winning, that left the Nationals as the only undefeated team in baseball and the Marlins as the only winless team.

Hurray for meeting expectations.

Cheers for Cliff: With Roy Halladay in limbo, the Philadelphia Phillies sure would have liked a solid outing from Cliff Lee on Thursday, who, like Halladay, didn't have his best season in 2012.

Well, 2013 started off stellar for Lee, who blanked the Atlanta Braves 2-0. Lee pitched eight innings and struck out 8. He didn't get his first win until July 4 in 2012, so it's safe to say this was a welcomed monkey off his back.

Across the diamond, much-hyped Braves pitcher Kris Medlen struggled to find his 10-1 form from a year ago. Medlen threw 61 pitches in the first three innings and lasted only five. He gave us six hits and walked four. The Braves' big hitters — Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Justin and B.J. Upton were a combined 1-for-13 in the loss.


Reds 5, Angels 4 (Cincinnati's second-tier stars came through)

Cubs 3, Pirates 2 (Cubs held on despite another rocky ninth from Carlos Marmol)

Padres 2, Mets 1 (Padres stifled Mets for first win)

Twins 8, Tigers 2 (Tigers only get one hit from Cabrera, Fielder and Hunter)

Royals 3, White Sox 1 (Nine Ks for Jeremy Guthrie)

Orioles 6, Rays 3 (Chris Davis' hitting > Evan Longoria's running)

A's 8, Mariners 2 (Josh Reddick's beard accounts for four runs)

Yankees 4, Red Sox 2 (Yanks win first game)

"Anytime Choo goes deep, I got Sake bombs for everybody."
— Bronson Arroyo of the Cincinnati Reds about teammate Shin-Soo Choo, per John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Choo's Korean, not Japanese, but hey, a free drink is a free drink.

Jason Kipnis, the Cleveland Indians second baseman, who didn't have a hit in first two games, posted this on Twitter. The reference is to the fictional Indians in "Major League" and wins Kipnis' father the award of baseball's coolest dad.

• Michael Morse's four home runs in his first four games is something only one other Seattle Mariner has done. Somebody good: Ken Griffey Jr., who did it in 1997.

• Thursday's Yankees win was the 69th time that Andy Pettitte got a win that Mariano Rivera saved. That was already a record. Thursday was, however, the first time the two of them pitched in the same game since July 2010.

• Mike Pelfrey, Thursday's winning pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, got his first W since August 2011. He had Tommy John surgery last May.

Should the Cubs stick with Carlos Marmol as their closer? Our own Kevin Kaduk appeared on Comcast Sportsnet's Sports Talk Live on Thursday and was asked this very question ...

Baseball is back. Don't miss anything.

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