The Juice: Derek Lowe gets 4-inning save for Yankees, Nationals smash Giants 14-2

David Brown
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.

How Lowe can he go?: The New York Yankees seemed a tad desperate when they signed 39-year-old Derek Lowe and added him to their bullpen, but the move paid off immediately Monday night when he gave them four shutout innings in relief of David Phelps to save an 8-2 victory against the Texas Rangers. Lowe came in with a 5.52 ERA — and 8.80 in his final 12 starts for the Indians — but he struck out four and allowed two hits for his first save since 2001. A member of the 2004 Red Sox, Lowe had been considered the enemy by the Yankees Empire. But once you've pitched for the cause, all that other stuff tends to be forgotten. Lowe said he "had to get back to hiding the ball a little better" in order to succeed, so we'll see how long his resurgence lasts. On the offensive side, Nick Swisher hit a grand slam, his 200th career home run, against fresh meat Ryan Dempster. Dempster has allowed 19 runs — 16 earned — in 17 1/3 innings since coming over from the Cubs in a deadline trade.

Washington monumental: The Nationals jumped all over Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who had been leading the NL in ERA, for eight runs in 2 2/3 innings and cruised to a 14-2 victory. Danny Espinosa and Roger Bernadina had four hits and drove in three runs apiece, and Kurt Suzuki had three hits and drove in four as the Nats collectively pounded 21 hits, the most ever for a visiting team at AT&T Park. Vogelsong's ERA went from 2.27 to 2.72 and reliever Brad Penny also got torched. Gio Gonzalez enjoyed the offensive support and allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings. The Nats enjoy the best record (72-44) and run differential (+110) in the majors, and they lead the NL East by 5 1/2 because San Diego beat Atlanta 4-1 behind Eric Stults.

Running in place: The Angels failed to gain ground on Texas in the AL West because they were beaten 6-2 by the Cleveland Indians. Justin Masterson was better than C.J. Wilson and helped stop the Indians' 10-game road losing streak. Wilson left the game in the seventh after knocking down a line drive by Lou Marson with his bare hand. Albert Pujols hit his 25th home run, but what does it matter when Brent Lillibridge goes deep for Cleveland?

Canada Dry: The Blue Jays overcame two solo home runs by Adam Dunn, including a tying shot in the ninth, to beat the White Sox 3-2 in 11 innings. David Cooper lined an RBI single to hand Chicago its 16th loss in 19 games at Rogers Centre. Jake Peavy lowered his ERA to 3.04, but the White Sox have scored 26 runs in his past 11 starts, so no love for him. Here's an item: Toronto reliever Steve Delabar struck out six over two innings, including a major-league record four in the 10th inning. He got an extra K because a runner reached on a passed ball. Never before had a pitcher struck out four in one inning in extra innings. Here's another item: The White Sox struck out 16 times, but Dunn didn't go down once.

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Quote of the Day:

"I look at it like the NCAA tournament; you look at it like you can't lose." — Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, whose team beat the Pirates 5-4 and moved into a first-place tie with the Giants in the NL West.

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Photo of the Day: This isn't "Hang Loose," but it's almost as good, brah.

Shane Victorino hit a tie-breaking two-run homer to help the Dodgers beat the Pirates.

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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers allowed five runs and 12 hits over 5 1/3 innings in a 9-3 loss to the Twins, and he has an 8.41 ERA since coming over from Miami in a trade.

The Rays beat the Mariners 4-1, have won 10 of 12 overall and, by percentage points, lead the AL wild-card race.

• Cole Hamels tossed his second straight shutout, leading the Phillies to a 4-0 victory against the Marlins.

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