The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday (and now on the weekends) for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.
Root for chaos: If that's what you're doing heading into the new playoff format, you'll be happy to hear the Dodgers rallied for two ninth inning runs off Jason Motte to stun the Cardinals 4-3 and move into a tie with St. Louis for the second wild-card position. And to make the comeback a little more dramatic, Los Angeles plated both runs with two outs on a Luis Cruz RBI double and a Juan Rivera walkoff single.
I'd say that sets quite the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
One-hit wonder: Pitching for the second time at Target Field since being dealt to the Chicago White Sox, Francisco Liriano took a bid for his second career no-hitter into the seventh inning before Trevor Plouffe broke it up with a two-out, two-run homer. That would be the only hit Liriano allowed on the afternoon, and thanks to Paul Konerko's three RBIs and scoreless innings from Jesse Crain and Addison Reed, he was the winning pitcher in the White Sox 5-3 victory.
Of course Liriano's first career no-no came with the Twins against the White Sox back on May 3, 2011, so he very nearly reversed roles and repaid that one completely.
Anything you can do: Not to be completely outdone, Anibal Sanchez helped the Tigers keep pace with Chicago in their 5-3 win over the Cleveland Indians. Like Liriano, Sanchez tossed six and two-third no-hit innings before Carlos Santana broke the bid up with a double. After two more hits cut the deficit to three, Sanchez was removed and Detroit's 1-2 bullpen punch of Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde nailed it down.
Halfway to a million mistakes: As the world waited in anticipation for some utility infielder or backup catcher to become infamous for committing the 500,000th error in Major League Baseball history, it was actually four-time all-star and defending National League batting champion Jose Reyes who was in the wrong place and the wrong time during the Marlins 6-4 triumph over the Reds.
* * *
Quote of the Day: "I don't normally pay attention to the wins and losses, but I looked before the game and saw that we had 99 losses."
- Houston Astrons starter Dallas Keuchel on pitching to avoid their 100th loss on Saturday night. Keuchel came through, too, pitching five and one-third scoreless innings to help them shutout the fightin' Phillies, 5-0.
* * *
Photo of the Day: Agony and victory
Salvador Perez celebrates his walkoff home run in the Royals 3-2 win over the Angels while Albert Pujols begins the slow, disappointing walk back to the visiting clubhouse. The Angels had carried a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning thanks to Zack Greinke, but Ernesto Frieri gave it away on four pitches thanks to Billy Butler's solo homer, Alex Gordon's single and Perez's walkoff blast.
* * *
Video of the Day: Cleared for landing
Yes, a giant paper airplane interrupted the Brewers 9-6 victory over the Mets at Miller Park — and I think it drew the largest reaction from the crowd outside of Milwaukee's five-run fourth inning that turned the game around.
* * *
Three Facts for the Water Cooler:
• After winning on a walkoff error Friday night, the Braves squeezed past the Nationals 5-4 when Ryan Mattheus plunked Andrelton Simmons with the bases loaded in the eighth. You'll take them any way you can get them in September.
• In his return start off the disabled list, Ivan Nova limited the Rays to two runs over six innings and struck out eight as the Yankees prevailed 5-3. With CC Sabathia struggling of late and the Yankees having few answers as to why, a return to good health and effective performance from Nova would provide a huge boost to their rotation.