The Juice: Dodgers take over first in NL West, Giants reel without Melky

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.

Sea change:Big ol' Wednesday for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who moved into sole possession of first place in the NL West after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-3 for their fourth straight victory. Clayton Kershaw allowed three runs and had eight strikeouts over eight innings, and Matt Kemp drove in three runs. The Boys in Blue also figure to benefit more than any other team from the news that Giants slugger Melky Cabrera has been suspended for the rest of the regular season (plus) for testing positive for testosterone. The Pirates dropped their third straight — hurting their wild-card position — and lost Neil Walker to a dislocated finger. The 'Burgh has had better days.

Redbird revival: The Cardinals have benefited from the Pirates' recent swoon, and they moved into a tie with Pittsburgh for the NL's second wild card spot after beating the Diamondbacks 5-2. Adam Wainwright was buenwright for the Redbirds, other than allowing a long home run to Paul Goldschmidt, and has a 2.04 ERA in his past five starts.

Countdown to shutdown:Stephen Strasburg has compiled 139 1-3 innings this season, whatever that means in the countdown to getting shut down by the Washington Nationals, after he outpitched Tim Lincecum of the Giants in a 6-4 victory. Of course, the Giants played through the haze of losing Cabrera, their best player this season.

No sweat: Josh Hamilton hit a pair of home runs against Freddy Garcia, which sounds like bad news for the New York Yankees, but Garcia was otherwise on his game in a 3-2 victory. Garcia allowed four hits in 6 2-3 innings, and Yanks pitching has allowed Texas four runs in three games so far in the series. Eric Chavez had three hits in continuing to hit better than A-Rod as he fills in for him.

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Quote of the Day:

''Ultimately, it was just a bad decision" — Giants catcher Buster Posey, on Cabrera.

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Photo of the Day: A King and his subjects.

Felix Hernandez says "What up?" to folks reacting to his perfect game.

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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• Miguel Cabrera hit his 30th homer and leads the league with 103 RBIs after the Tigers beat the Twins 5-1.

• The White Sox beat the Blue Jays 9-5, winning in Toronto for the second straight game for the first time since 2006.

• The Marlins broke a 30-inning scoreless streak a 9-2 victory against the Phillies.

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