The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday (and now on Saturdays) for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.
Friday night Cruz: There’s something about Friday night that brings out the best in Nelson Cruz. On three different Fridays last season, Cruz drove in at least six runs, topping out with eight against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 22. Guess who caught the brunt of it again this particular Friday? Yes, those same Blues Jays.
Cruz matched his career-high RBI total from last season’s matchup, clearing the bases with a double in the first, singling home one in the sixth, and capping his big night with a grand slam in the seventh. He was a one-man show, but Josh Hamilton added a solo shot — ending his two week drought — just for good measure as the Rangers rolled, 14-3.
Lester losing luster: Tempers flared in the ninth inning at Fenway Park, but most of the offensive fireworks came well before that as the Tampa Bay Rays lit up John Lester for seven runs in four innings. The biggest blow came via a Matt Joyce third inning grand slam. Elliot Johnson and Carlos Pena later added solo shots as the Rays cruised to a 7-4 win.
451 and counting: One day after hitting career home run No. 450, Albert Pujols connected for 451 — a three-run shot off Blake Beavan — as the Angels rallied from a 4-0 deficit to defeat the Mariners, 6-4. Albert’s shot in the sixth ignited the rally. Howie Kendrick — two-run single — and shoddy Seattle defense completed it the ninth as Los Angeles scored the deciding three runs off closer Brandon League.
Quote of the Day: ”My first professional hit. I’d been 0-since-I-signed. The last hit I got might have been in high school.” — Rockies rookie pitcher Christian Friedrich on collecting his professional hit in the Rockies 6-3 win over Cincinnati. Friedrich had previously been 0-for-40 (32 minor league at-bats and eight in the majors). He was also the winning pitcher.
Photo of the Day: Have a seat
Washington Nationals outfielders Rick Ankiel and Steve Lombardozzi fell all over each other trying to handle Martin Prado’s triple. Looks like Ankiel got the worst of that situation. On the bright side, the Nats ended up getting the best of the Braves with a 7-4 win.
Three Facts for the Water Cooler:
• Adam Dunn connected for his tenth home run this month in the White Sox 9-3 victory over the Twins. As you’ve probably heard, Dunn only hit eleven all of last season.
• With their 1-0 loss to the Pirates, the Chicago Cubs have achieved their first double-digit losing streak since dropping 14 in a row to start the 1997 season.
• Chris Davis homered in the Orioles 8-2 victory over the Royals, which improved their record to an astounding 28-1 when hitting a long ball.