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.
O, that's a lot of homers: Seven times the Baltimore Orioles went deep Wednesday night in a 12-2 victory against Toronto, tying a team record previously recorded in 1985 back at Memorial Stadium. Chris Davis (seen above) and rookie Manny Machado connected two times apiece, with Nate McLouth, Mark Reynolds and Jim Thome also going deep once. McLouth's led off the first inning and Thome's was the 612th of his career, and his first at Camden Yards as an Oriole. Right-hander Carlos Villanueva was the biggest Blue Jays offender, allowing four of the bombs. The barrage kept Baltimore at the top of the wild-card hunt and 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees (who also won) in the AL East.
For keeps?: The Tigers lead the AL Central by a game and by themselves after mounting a comeback against the Royals to win 5-4. Detroit trailed 4-1 early, but rallied quickly and finally took a lead thanks in part to a big slide by Andy Dirks that helped stop a double play in the eighth. The White Sox were beaten again by the Indians, who are 21-50 since the All-Star break, and fell off the lead for the first time in two months.
Nats get nasty: Bryce Harper hit his 20th home run, joining Tony Conigliaro as the only teenagers to do it, and Jayson Werth got some revenge for boos with a big hit to help the Nationals beat the Phillies 8-4. Harper said he got more pleasure from watching Werth tease Philly fans with a foul ball psych, then turning the boos into groans with a two-run single to help pad Washington's lead. Werth said earlier this year he would make it his personal mission to torment Philly after some of its louts cheered him breaking his wrist. Washington's magic number to clinch the NL East is four because Atlanta also won. The Phillies are 5 1/2 out of the wild-card race and face elimination every day going forward.
Proximity alert! Stephen Drew had four hits and the Oakland Athletics closed to within three games of first place by beating the Rangers 9-3 at Texas. They still have four games against the Rangers, too, but three of them will be in Oakland. The Angels stayed two games behind Oakland for the wild card by winning 4-3 at Seattle, so it's getting tight up in here.
Other wild-card hopefuls: The Rays won their seventh straight, beating the Red Sox 4-2 to keep pace for a playoff spot. They trail the A's by three games (and the Angels are in the way too) heading into a four-game series at Chicago. Behind Bud Norris, who pitched into the eighth, the Astros beat the Cardinals 2-0 — also giving hope to Milwaukee and Los Angeles, both of which are three games off the wild-card pace. The Brewers beat the Reds 8-1, and Matt Kemp had four hits in the Dodgers 8-2 victory against the Padres.
[MLB Full Count: Watch live look-ins and highlights for free all season long]
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Quote of the Day:
"A lot of people want to say we can get the wild card. We're trying to still win this division. ... It's definitely possible" — Oakland's Josh Reddick.
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Photo of the Day: 'Should of won more.'
Chase Utley (right) and Ryan Howard of the Phillies are 'disappoint.'
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Three Facts for the Water Cooler
• Boston finished with a 34-47 mark at Fenway Park, the worst home record for the Red Sox since 1964.
• A's batters set an AL record for strikeouts in a season.
• Via the Associated Press: "The Giants were the fifth NL team to pitch a shutout Wednesday. The last time there were at least five shutouts in the same league on the same day was Sept. 18, 2003, in the NL, according to STATS LLC."
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