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.
Larry Wayne’s magical mystery trip: Chipper Jones may not appear in every game on this year’s retirement tour, but it appears he’s going to do something special on the occasions that he does. The 40-year-old third baseman hit a two-run walkoff homer in the bottom of the 11th inning on Wednesday night to end a wild 15-13 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
”When I am in there, I want to make a splash,” Jones said. ”I did it tonight.”
The walkoff was the eighth of Chipper’s career and the scaled-back celebration at home plate signaled that he’d been there before. Actually, check that, because we know the Braves took age and injury history into consideration while lightly slapping him on the back.
Jones deemed the game “psychotic,” an apt description for what went on at Turner Field. Though the Phillies took an early 6-0 lead with Roy Halladay on the mound, the Braves battled back with eight runs off the good Doctor, then erased another four-run deficit in the bottom of the eighth. The seven RBI from catcher Carlos Ruiz went for naught as the two teams combined for the highest-scoring extra inning game since Cleveland beat Kansas City — also by the score of 15-13 — in 2006.
Have a game, rookie: Bryce Harper helped the Washington Nationals end a five-game losing streak, and found himself on the winning side for the first time as a major leaguer. Harper had three hits, including a double that led off the bottom of the ninth inning and set up Ian Desmond to hit a two-run, game-ending home run in a 5-4 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks. ”He was born for these situations,” Washington manager Davey Johnson said of Harper.
Rays atop the rockpile: Tampa Bay moved into a tie for the best record in the majors — joining the Rangers and the Dodgers at 17-8 — with a 5-4 victory over Seattle. The Rays will miss Evan Longoria, but they’re 9-1 in their last 10 games, a stretch that has seen the bullpen go 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA, 39 strikeouts and five saves.
Onward to victory: Jeff Samardzija put together his second straight good start for the Cubs, allowing only one run and three hits in 7 2/3 innings against the Reds. That was good for a 3-1 victory at Great American Ballpark and — hey, look! — the Cubs defense is turning highlight-worthy plays!
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Quote of the Day: ‘‘Spiderman out there. I knew he had a bead on it. Casilla put a charge in it and Spiderman tracked it down.” — Angels pitcher Jered Weaver on Torii Hunter’s putout in right field to seal his no-hitter against the Twins on Wednesday night. More coverage here and here.
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Photo of the Day: Penny for your thoughts, sir?
You didn’t think we’d forget about the Giambino after that crazy day of baseball, did you? The Rockies’ pinch-hitter extraordinaire hit his fifth walkoff homer since joining the Rockies, ending an 8-5 win that saw Carlos Gonzalez hit two homers off Clayton Kershaw and umpire Tim Welke turn in the worst call of the season. (Yes, we can probably already hand him that award with confidence.)
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Three Facts for the Water Cooler
• The Rangers haven’t won a series in Toronto since April 2008. An 11-5 loss to Ricky Romero and the Blue Jays ensure that the streak will continue.
• The Padres won their first series of the season by taking two of three from Milwaukee and it came in the unlikeliest of ways. Jeff Suppan — yes, that Jeff Suppan, the one who hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2010 and the one who more or less sunk the Brewers pitching staff with a huge contract during the Ned Yost era — threw five scoreless innings as San Diego worked its way to a 5-0 victory.
• Turns out the road was good for what ailed the Royals. Sort of. After failing to win a game in Kansas City in April, they just capped off a 4-3 swing through Cleveland and Detroit with a 3-2 victory over Justin Verlander and the Tigers on Wednesday.
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