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.
Go figure: Royals manager Ned Yost invoked the "Bermuda Triangle" when describing how his team scratched across a run against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night. And after the last couple of games at Kauffman Stadium, the Tigers might feel like supernatural forces are conspiring against them. The craftiest of lefties Bruce Chen dazzled them for eight innings, and with the help of an amazing catch by outfielder Jarrod Dyson, closer Greg Holland held on for another thrilling save in a 1-0 Royals victory. Chen allowed four hits and a walk in his best outing of the season, which was just a shade better than the performance Detroit got from Anibal Sanchez. The only mark against him was a 70-foot, RBI bloop single into no-man's land (the Bermuda Triangle) by Eric Hosmer. The night before, the Royals jumped all over Tigers ace Justin Verlander in a high-scoring, one-run victory. No matter what the Tigers have done in K.C., it's not been enough. Detroit fell three games behind the White Sox.
Bucco pride: The Pittsburgh Pirates came back in a big way the past two nights against the Cardinals, shutting them down 5-0 behind Wandy Rodriguez to climb back within a game of St. Louis in the NL wild-card race. Pedro Alvarez hit his 26th home run, a three-run shot that gives him 24 RBIs in 15 games against Team Fredbird this season. The Pirates also beat the Cards 9-0 the night before after losing six of seven.
Crucial performance in pennant race rewarded with trip to Charlotte, N.C. : Dylan Axelrod has one of the best names in the majors (when the White Sox bring him up from Triple-A Charlotte), and his performance in an 8-1 victory against the Orioles was befitting of such a distinction. Filling in for Jake Peavy after a pair of frustrating losses for Chicago at Camden Yards, Axelrod allowed a run and three hits over seven innings before being sent back to the minors. Thanks a lot, kid! Joe Saunders seemed like a good idea for the Orioles (they had talked for weeks about acquiring him) but perhaps his next start will be better.
Two-timing Longo: Evan Longoria hit two home runs to lead the Tampa Bay Rays in an 8-4 victory against Matt Harrison and the Texas Rangers. That's one way to ensure you won't lose another 1-0 game, as has happened four times since Aug. 5 to Tampa-St. Pete.
Bronx busters: Yes, that was the Blue Jays beating CC Sabathia at Yankee Stadium, getting an 8-5 victory and taking two in a three-game series in the process. Yunel Escobar drove in five runs for the Jays, who scored five (two earned) against Sabathia for just their second win in 10 games. The Yankees lead the AL East by 3 1/2 games.
Quote of the Day:
''Bryce couldn't control his emotions again. I had a little chat with him. He'll get over it. He's just a hundred-percenter. He expects great things out of himself, breaks bats, throws his helmet. He's just got to stop it. We can't afford to be losing him in a ballgame. He'll learn. He's young.'' — Washington manager Davey Johnson, after Harper angrily spiked his helmet and it landed near umpire C.B. Bucknor, who ejected him. Harper, who also hit two homers in an 8-4 victory against Miami, said he hates hitting into double plays.
Photo of the Day: This guy.
The Phillies have lost five straight to the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. (Somebody tell him.)
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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:
• Chris Heisey hit two homers and the Reds beat the Diamondbacks 6-2 for their 80th victory of the season in their 132nd game, which — quoting the Associated Press — is the fastest a Reds team has gotten to 80 wins since 1976, when the Big Red Machine did it in 125 games.
• Hunter Pence has had four homers in seven games against his old (older) team the Houston Astros after they traded him in July 2011. His three-run shot gave the Giants a four-run lead and they beat the Astros 6-4.
• C.J. Wilson had not won for 11 starts until the Angels beat the Red Sox 10-3. He allowed all three runs and eight hits over four innings for his first victory since June 26.