The Juice: Phillies win on Rockies error, Stephen Strasburg doesn’t need pine tar to dominate Rays

Kevin Kaduk
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.

Error lifts Phils over Rockies: Can it get any lower for Colorado Rockies this season? Wednesday was certainly a test in plumbing the depths of their downfall.

First, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was diagnosed with a condition that usually hits hockey goalies and scheduled for surgery that will keep him out two months or longer.

Then, the team went out and lost its 12th game in 13 tries, falling 7-6 to the Philadelphia Phillies when Todd Helton failed to stay on the bag for an out that would have sent the game into extra innings after loading the bases in the ninth. The loss dropped the Rockies to 25-42, only 2.5 games ahead of the San Diego Padres, currently the worst team in baseball.

''Out of the corner of my eye, I thought the ball was to the outfield,'' Helton told reporters. ''There's no excuse. I should have been there.''

Staying on the bag for an out actually hasn't been a requirement for Helton this season (as more than a few people pointed out after the first baseman was dragged off the base by Marco Scutaro's throw.) But unfortunately for the Rockies, Tim Welke wasn't on the call and the one-run lead they took into the bottom of the ninth was wasted. It's clearly not easy being purple these days.

Strasburg shines: His manager may still be caught up in the Joel Peralta pine tar controversy, but Stephen Strasburg didn't let it affect him past being momentarily taken aback when home plate umpire Jeff Nelson came out to check a baseball that had bounced in the dirt. Strasburg thought Nelson might have been en route to check his glove for pine tar.

''We kind of had a laugh on the bench,'' Washington manager Davey Johnson said. ''When the umpire came out, he wanted to look at the ball. Stras was getting ready to undress. ... He was ready to take everything off and have them search him.''

Strasburg shook off the surprise and struck out 10 batters over seven innings in a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. The victory ended a four-game losing streak for the Nats, who lead the NL East by three games.

Mets pitching rules against O's: For awhile, it looked as if the second-place Mets might sweep the Orioles with three straight shutouts as starter Dillon Gee took a shutout into the eighth inning. Baltimore ruined the fun by halting New York pitching's 29-inning scoreless streak late, but the result was still a happy one for the Mets — a 4-3 win that kept them three games behind the Nationals in the NL East. A big series against the Yankees in the Bronx awaits this weekend.

David Ortiz goes grand: Even if you don't like Big Papi or the Red Sox, you have to admit it's a great piece of theater when Ortiz hits a grand slam at a packed Fenway Park on a summer night. Here's the 11th granny of his career, which came during a 15-5 smothering of the Miami Marlins.

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Quote of the Day:

"I was gassed. It doesn't seem like that far around the bases, but it is when you're running that hard. I'm just glad I didn't fall over.''

— Arizona's Ryan Roberts after hitting the eighth inside-the-park home run in Diamondbacks franchise history. The round trip came during the D-backs' 14-1o win over Seattle. The victory featured six Arizona home runs and clinched a series win that saw the team score a total of 3o runs over the three games.

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Photo of the Day: Euro 2012 or a Rays game? You decide!

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Three facts for the water cooler

• The Braves and Yankees hit a total of nine home runs during Atlanta's 10-5 win, good enough for a Yankee Stadium record. There have been three eight-homer games since the ballpark opened in 2009.

• Oakland's Tommy Milone has a league-leading 0.99 ERA at home after throwing a three-hit, one-run complete game in a 4-1 win over the Dodgers. It was the first complete game of his career as the A's have won seven of their last eight games.

• A 6-o win over the Giants that was keyed by Jered Weaver's return from the DL gave the Angels their eighth series win in their last nine tries.

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