The Juice: Matt Cain gets first win as Giants sweep Dodgers; Justin Verlander impeccable for Tigers

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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After two consecutive nights where they needed walk-off wins to beat the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants looked to have things in order Sunday night.

Matt Cain, winless on the year at that point, cruised into the eighth inning. Hunter Pence drove in all four Giants run with two doubles and a fielder's choice. The Giants were up 4-0. But then, as tends to happen when the Dodgers and Giants play, things got interesting.

The Dodgers scored three in the eighth, spelling Cain and creating another tight game. Adrian Gonzalez, who didn't start because of a sore neck, had a two-run pinch-hit single to get the Dodgers on the board.

The Giants held on, however, thanks to a 1-2-3 ninth inning from Sergio Romo. The win gave the Giants the sweep and Cain his first win in seven starts. It also continued a tough run for the beat-up Dodgers, who are now 13-17.

Said Giants skipper Bruce Bochy about Cain's start:

''It took us a while ... but it was what we needed. He got us into the eighth inning, and as usual our boys are entertaining and made it close again. But I was happy for Matt the way he threw the ball.''

Verlander takes no-no into the seventh: You had to see this coming. Justin Verlander pitching against the hapless Houston Astros and giving us a no-hitter threat. Verlander held the Astros hitless until the seventh inning, striking out nine and eventually surrendering two hits. The Tigers won 9-0, giving them a combined 28-2 advantage in the last 18 innings against the Astros. Ouch.

Above is Miguel Cabrera making an incredible play at third base to help Verlander keep his no-hitter going. We know Miggy can smash baseballs, but we don't often see him turning in plays like this defensively.

Marlins put up 14 runs against Halladay, Phillies: That's no typo. The Miami Marlins actually scored 14 runs on Sunday. That's like a whole week's worth for them.

Adeiny Hechavarria hit a grand slam and a bases-loaded triple to total seven RBIs and Kevin Slowey got his first win since 2010. The Marlins had only scored four runs total in Slowey's starts this year, so 14 was a welcome change of pace.

On the Phillies side, Roy Halladay got tagged for nine runs in 2 1/3 innings. After the game, he said he was having shoulder discomfort and would likely head to the disabled list.


Royals 6, White Sox 5: Kansas City wins fourth straight on Alex Gordon's walk-off single. Obviously, the Royals were excited.

Twins 4, Indians 2: Twins avoid sweep in Cleveland, behind strong start from Mike Pelfrey.

A's 5, Yankees 4: Josh Donaldson hits the go-ahead homer for the A's in the eighth. Grant Balfour strikes out Vernon Wells with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth.

Rangers 4, Red Sox 3: Yu Darvish Ks 14 Red Sox and gets a no-decision. Rangers get the win on a Adrian Beltre walk-off base hit.

Blue Jays 10, Mariners 2: Things as they were supposed to be in Toronto: The Blue Jays offense explodes and Brandon Morrow pitches eight innings and strikes out eight.

Braves 9, Mets 4: Braves get 12 hits and a strong outing from Tim Hudson.

Nationals 6, Pirates 2: Gio Gonzalez, knocked around recently, guides Nats to victory after Bryce Harper is ejected.

Cardinals 10, Brewers 1: Streaking! The Cardinals have won six straight after trouncing the Brewers.

Reds 7, Cubs 4: Reds complete sweep of Cubs as Mat Latos and Joey Votto have strong days.

Orioles 8, Angels 4: Jason Hammel is 5-1 for the Orioles. Nobody is 5-1 for the Angels.

Padres 5, D-backs 1: Edinson Volquez wins third straight start for Padres.

Rays 8, Rockies 3: Bad news: Alex Cobb gives up three home runs to the Rockies. Good news: They're only solo homers.

"My mom tells me that when I'm in the lineup, the team wins more games." — Yoenis Cespedes, through his translator, after the A's win over the Yankees.

Mama Cespedes knows what's up.

There's nothing particularly newsworthy about this photo of Andrew McCutchen from Sunday's Pittsburgh Pirates game. He went 0-for-4 and the Pirates lost. But it's a nice photo. Thought you'd like it.

• The Angels, now 11-20, are nine games under .500 for the first time since June 30, 2006.

• The Yankees lost their first one-run game of the season Sunday. They were the final team in baseball to do so.

• Twins pitcher Mike Pelfrey had seven strikeouts coming into Sunday. He matches that total through six innings against the Cleveland Indians.

Baseball is back. Don't miss anything. Follow @MikeOz and @bigleaguestew, on Twitter, along with the BLS Facebook page.

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