The Juice: Chris Davis’ league-leading 14th home run helps Orioles take rubber match from Yankees

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Chris Davis’ hot-hitting season continued with four more hits, including his American League leading 14th home run, as the Orioles locked up an important division series with a 6-3 win over the New York Yankees. Davis’ two-run blast in the first inning capped a three-run rally against Hiroki Kuroda. Nick Markakis also homered in the inning. Matt Wieters later added a three-run homer that proved to be the difference.

All important hits in a big game, but it was Davis who kept the line moving with productive at-bat after productive at-bat. And as he noted after the game, the series was of utmost importance to the Orioles. And not just because it was their biggest competition within the division. David Ginsburg of the Associated Press tells us more:

In the opener Monday night, Baltimore closer Jim Johnson blew a ninth-inning lead and Baltimore absorbed its sixth straight loss. The Orioles rebounded to win in 10 innings on Tuesday night before coasting in the finale.

''Anytime a division rival comes in, you want to try to win the series especially when you're at home,'' Davis said. ''We avoided the snowball effect to some degree and were able to get back on track.''

The Yankees have also avoided the snowball effect this season despite numerous injuries. They added another on Wednesday night as Kuroda was forced to leave in the third inning after being struck on the calf by a Manny Machado line drive. At this time it's not believed to be a serious concern, but one could understand if Yankees fans held their breath a few hours longer.

Zack Cozart solves Matt Harvey: I think that officially makes Zack Cozart a baseball genius. Sure, a player here or a player there has put together a solid offensive game against Mets phenom Matt Harvey, but nothing nearly as complete as Cozart's four hit effort. Among the hits were two singles and two doubles. He also scored twice, but the game itself wasn't decided until the bullpens got involved. In the ninth, it was Cincinnati who broke through for three runs against Bobby Parnell to take home the 7-4 victory.

Another day, yet another walk...: Hold on, not so far there, San Francisco. Despite another late inning Giants rally to tie a game at home, the Washington Nationals emerged with the 2-1 victory thanks to Ian Desmond's tenth inning RBI single.

Shocking first for Jose Bautista: Would you believe — you probably won't — that Jose Bautista never had a walk-off hit going into Wednesday? It's true, or at least it was, because he changed history with a tenth inning single. It was also Bautista who sent the game to extra innings with a solo home run off Fernando Rodney leading off the ninth. Oh, and he homered in the fourth, stole a base, singled again, and walked for good measure. Not a bad series for most.


Dodgers 9, Brewers 2: Manager Don Mattingly got exactly what he wanted out of his lineup.

Braves 8, Twins 3: The legend of Evan Gattis grows — both good and unusual.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 1: Colorado, Arizona and San Francisco sit atop the NL West at 26-21.

Rangers 3, A's 1: 30-year-old Ross Wolf earns his first major league win with five outstanding innings.

Tigers 11, Indians 7: Justin Verlander's struggles continued, but his offense (and Michael Bourn) picked him up.

Angels 7, Mariners 1: Four straight wins for the Halos, though beating up on Seattle is pretty much everyone's gimmick these days.

Phillies 3, Marlins 0: Three-hit shutout hurled by Cliff Lee.

Red Sox 6, White Sox 2: Another " would you believe?" moment: David Ortiz stole third base.

Astros 3, Royals 1: James Shields could really use a couple more runs. That's all he asks.

Cardinals 5, Padres 3: Yadier Molina joined the four-hit parade.

''What was it, one walk, nine punchouts and two hits? Man, that's clean stuff.''

— Pirates manager Clint Hurdle on Francisco Liriano's dominant outing. Liriano, along with Tony Watson and Mark Melancon, shutout the Cubs, 1-0.

• Miguel Cabrera has 50 RBI in 44 games. That's the fewest games for a Tigers player to reach 50 RBI since Hank Greenberg in 1937.

• Evan Gattis' grand slam traveled 344 feet. According to ESPN Stats, that's the shortest grand slam in MLB since May 16, 2009 when Jason Kubel hit one 341 feet off Mariano Rivera.

According to Elias, the Mat Latos (4-0) vs. Matt Harvey (5-0) matchup was the third game in MLB history featuring two undefeated starters nine or more starts into season. They both earned no decisions.

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