Morning Juice: Fay or no Fay, Rays show they're here to stay

This and every weekday a.m. let's rise and shine together with the best hustle and bustle in the majors. Today's Roll Call starts on Florida's Gulf Coast, where semi-Hurricane Fay is bearing down on the Rays-Angels series, which is a possible playoff preview that few saw coming. Speaking of unseen, does anyone know where B.J. Upton's off to?

Game of the Day: Rays 6, Angels 4

Cherubs rocked: Eric Hinske (bless you!) and Cliff Floyd go deep to help Our Rays improve to 5-2 overall and 4-0 inside the Dry Confines of the Trop Shop against the Angels. Remember, the records revert to 0-0 come playoff time.

Zero: Contracting a sure double into an embarrassing single, Upton is thrown out at second base after apparently assuming he had it standing up. It's "assuming" because Upton hustled his way past reporters without comment after not hustling again on bases. Upton inexplicably has been benched three times in the past two weeks for lollygagging. Hey, there's a pennant race on/hurricane on the way, buddy, so let's get moving.

Infinite sadness: Floyd, forced to speak for his team mate, says Upton is "hurting bad" and that the other Rays will make sure he never, ever, ever does this again. "It bothers me," Floyd adds. "You get choked up a little bit because it's like, ‘Man, we've got something real special here.' We don't need to be talking about this stuff."

Today is the greatest: It's funny that many assumed the Rays were overachieving in April, May and June, but if they've ever overachieved it's now, in the Dog Days of August with so many key components injured. Not funny ha-ha. Funny peculiar. Maybe a little funny ha-ha. Anyway, stop chuckling for an important announcement: Tonight's game is on — for now. Rays president Matt Silverman says he'll tell us by early afternoon if it ain't.

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Feelin' Rundown (Monday's other brief briefs):

Brewers 9, Astros 3: CC Sabathia is SO Rick Sutcliffe '84 Cubs right now. 8-0 with a 1.60 ERA and five CGs in nine starts since coming over from the Indians. Sutcliffe won the NL Cy Young — taking all 24 first-place votes — in '84 after going 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA for the Cubs a mere 24 years ago. Sutcliffe also was fourth in MVP voting, and might have won that, too, were it not for Ryneberg. Sutcliffe, less famously, narrowly lost out to Ronald Reagan in the presidential election that November. He also would have got away with a big caper, were it not for some meddling kids and their talking dog.

Athletics 3, Twins 2: Son of Moneyball! Kiiirk Saaaarlooos (right) comes out of semi-seclusion to pitch 3 2/3 shutout innings after the Duke goes down with a hip injury. Ziegler's now allowed ANOTHER run. The bloom is SO off the rose.

Pirates 5, Mets 2: "Bleepin' Steve Pearce," has been the refrain throughout Queens the past two Mondays. The Pirates' Pearce is batting .222 with 13 Ks overall but he's gone 4-for-10, which includes a pair of go-ahead hits, in recent history against the Metros.

Giants 5, Braves 0: Whenever he has a solid outing — which is about one in four — Barry Zito sounds afterward like a recovering addict who swears he's figured out the problem and won't ever let it happen again. "I got caught up with trying to make things happen," he said after seven shutout innings Monday. "You can't do that. Hitters make things happen." Boy, do they make things happen against the Zit.

Red Sox 6, Orioles 3: Two homers, a stolen base and no pee delays, for Jason Bay.

Tigers 8, Rangers 7: It seems Feldman from janitorial was outpitching Rogers from Roasters until Sheffield hit a two-run deep to key a four-run seventh. Sheffield got choked up ty ing Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff on the career home run list. See? Someone else remembers Fred McGriff fondly/at all.

White Sox 13, Mariners 5: If you're into similarities, Jarrod Washburn and Mark Buehrle are both left-handers who wear No. 56 and pitched lousy in this ballgame. Buehrle breaks the mold by taking the victory in another WSox homerfest.

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Photo of the Day: Hey, blame the other hand — I didn't throw it

Washburn wipes his face after Nick Swisher's tying homer swipes the slate clean in the second inning Monday night.

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Fantasy Freaks

Zito (Giants) 7 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K, Win

Bay (Red Sox) 3-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, SB

Jon Lester (Red Sox) 7 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 5 K, Win

CC (Brewers) 9 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, Win

Alexei Ramirez (Cuba) 2-4, HR, 4 RBI

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Fantasy Flakes

Washburn (M's) 4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, Loss

Buehrle (ChiSox) 5 2/3 IP. 11 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, Win

Randy Wolf (Astros) 4 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, Loss

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 0-5

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Words of Mouth

"Bad, bad baseball." — Chipper Jones

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