The Juice: Dioner Navarro hits three homers in Cubs win, Ryan Zimmerman matches him in Nationals loss

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Dioner Navarro had himself a ‘career day’ on Wednesday in every sense of the term. Having connected for only 44 home runs in 2,066 at-bats coming in, the Chicago Cubs backup catcher would hit three — two against Chicago White Sox starter John Danks and one off reliever Brian Omogrosso — and drive in a career-high six runs to help the northsiders cruise to a 9-3 victory.

That puts him in elite company as only 14 catchers before him had put together a three homer and six RBI game. The most recent to do so was Victor Martinez back on July 16, 2004. John Buck, who came out swinging a hot bat for the New York Mets this season, is the most recent catcher to simply hit three dingers in one game. That came on April 18, 2010.

There are many other interesting facts you can learn about Navarro’s big day over at Eye on Baseball. But there’s no reason for starting catcher Wellington Castillo to worry. According to manager Dale Sveum, his spot is secure.

Very secure.

Three is not enough: Whereas Navarro’s big day led the Cubs to victory, a three home run performance by Washington Nationals third baseman was not enough to overcome Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles. Zimmerman did his damage with a solo homer in the first, another solo in the fourth and a two-run shot in the fifth. That put Washington’s lead at 6-2, but the O’s rallied for seven unanswered to steal a 9-6 win.

Chris Davis, who homered himself in the fourth, added a two-run blast in the seventh to cap Baltimore’s comeback. He was 4 for 4 with three scored and three driven in as he solidifies his push for an all-star spot.

Over before it started: The New York Mets rode the wave of momentum from Tuesday night's unlikely comeback against Mariano Rivera and turned it into a five-run first inning against Yankees starter David Phelps. The lead grew to 8-0 on Lucas Duda's two-run double in the fourth, and it was easy sailing from there as Jeremy Hefner, Scott Rice and Latroy Hawkins brought home the 9-4. victory. The Mets will go for the four-game series sweep on Thursday, or the two-game double sweep if you prefer.

Jered Weaver returns, Matt Kemp exits: In his first start back from a broken left elbow (non-throwing arm), Jered Weaver somehow showed less rust than the Dodgers offense in striking out seven over six very effective innings. That was good enough to win thanks to Mark Trumbo's go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth. They've now won eight out of ten as they attempt to salvage their first eight weeks of disappointing play.

As for the Dodgers, the wheels on their bandwagon got a little looser as Matt Kemp was forced to leave with a mild hamstring strain. He's listed as day-to-day, but an MRI scheduled for Thursday will tell the whole story on his condition.


Pirates 5, Tigers 3: Could you imagine Pittsburgh having two or three all-stars and none of them being Andrew McCutchen? Jason Grilli, Neil Walker and A.J. Burnett were all difference makers for Pittsburgh.

Indians 5, Reds 2: Jason Giambi plays offensive hero and offensive base stealer.

Phillies 4, Red Sox 3: Dominic Brown hits homers No. 11 and 12. Can he stay now, Charlie?

Rays 3, Marlins 1: With Optimus Prime and Bumblebee on hand for the first pitch, it was Roberto Hernandez who threw the ball like a machine.

Blue Jays 3, Braves 0: Atlanta's all or nothing offense rears its ugly head again.

Diamondbacks vs. Rangers (ppd. rain): After playing a scheduled doubleheader on Memorial Day, the teams will play a single game on Thursday with a makeup date to be determined.

Cardinals 5, Royals 3: St. Louis spanks Ned Yost's crew for the third straight day.

Astros 6, Rockies 3: The Rockies have stranded 53 runners over their last five games.

Padres 3, Mariners 2 (10 inn.): 34-year-old journeyman Eric Stults struck out 12 Mariners over eight innings, but settled for a no-decision. That speaks volumes for both teams, doesn't it?

A's 9, Giants 6: The streaky A's are headed in the right direction again. Six wins in a row and 11 over their last 12.

''He's confident right now. You can see it, a different attitude. It's still not a perfect world for him yet, but we're having fun watching him play baseball.''

— Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on rookie Aaron Hicks, who homered again and made another spectacular defensive play in their 4-1 win over the Brewers.

Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso douses Will Venable (game-winning hit) and Fox Sports San Diego reporter Kelly Crull.

• With their win on Wednesday, the New York Mets are now 1-10 in games immediately following a Matt Harvey start this season.

• The Cincinnati Reds have lost eight in a row at Progressive Field.

• The Braves have three regulars hitting below .200: B.J. Upton (.146), Jason Heyward (.152) and Dan Uggla (.186) make up the impressive list of unimpressive numbers.

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