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Big League Stew

The Juice: Bruce’s inside-the-park homer ignites Reds victory, Matt Moore dominates Miami

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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.

Bruce is loose: Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce got the scoring started at Citi Field when he lined a ball over the head of Mets outfielder Jason Bay, who collided hard with the wall while making a desperate lunge. This allowed Bruce to fly effortlessly around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.

Alright, so maybe my description of Bruce's trip around the bases was a little too kind. His teammates, on the other hand, weren't afraid to hold back with their harsh but honest assessments.

''They said I looked terrible when I got to the dugout. But I thought I looked fine. I felt fine,'' Bruce said as a teammate yelled out ''speed demon!'' in the clubhouse. ''Had enough gas to be safe, so that's all that matters.''

The Reds could joke around and feel good after their 7-2 victory. The same couldn't be said in the Mets clubhouse, because the collision with the wall forced Bay out of the game with a possible concussion. Of course Bay missed the final two months of the 2010 season with a concussion, so many in New York will be holding their breath awaiting the official result of his tests.

[Related: Former MVP Justin Morneau is tortured by failure against lefties]

Moore, Moore, Moore: Two days after the Rays were one-hit by R.A. Dickey, their 22-year-old left-hander Matt Moore turned the beat around against the Miami Marlins, holding them to one hit over seven scoreless innings while striking out eight. Burke Badenhop and Brandon Gomes then contributed hitless innings in relief to preserve the combined one-hitter and give Tampa Bay an easy 11-0 victory.

Soaring value: With trade rumors and speculation running wild in Chicago, Ryan Dempster pushed it all aside to deliver his third straight overpowering performance, holding the Boston Red Sox to four hits over seven shutout innings in the Cubs 3-0 win. Dempster even helped his own cause at the plate, looping a base hit in front of Adrian Gonzalez that the volunteer right fielder misplayed into Dempster's first triple since 2002.

But it wouldn't be a Cubs victory without a little bit of drama. Carlos Marmol, who was reinserted as closer earlier in the day, would load the bases with two outs, but recovered to retire Dustin Pedroia and secure a round one victory for general manager Theo Epstein over his former employers.

Eight is enough: The Colorado Rockies snapped an eight-game losing streak overall and a nine-game losing streak in interleague play with their 12-4 win over the Detroit Tigers. It wasn't as easy as the score indicates, though, as the Rockies used an eight-run tenth inning to finally gain separation. Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer capped the rally with back-to-back home runs.

* * *

Quote of the Day:

''If it's not your first at-bat, it's your second, third or fourth at-bat. Never give up an at-bat."

- New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson on his interesting night at the plate. Granderson started the game 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez, but finished it with a two-run double and solo home run to help New York earn a 7-2 win.

* * *

Photo of the Day: I believe Dee can fly

View photo

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(AP)

Dee Gordon robs Orlando Hudson with an incredible leaping catch in the Dodgers thrilling 7-6 triumph over the Chicago White Sox. Gordon also turned in a great diving backhand stab and later in the game as the two sides exchanged defensive gems and the lead.

* * *

Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• On his 26th birthday, Trevor Plouffe connected for two home runs in the Twins 5-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. That gives the 2004 first round pick nine home runs in month of June, to go along with a .396 average and 16 RBIs.

• After being shutout eight time in their first 36 games, the Los Angeles Angels were shutout for the first time since by Trevor Cahill and the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-0.

• The Oakland Athletics granted Manny Ramirez his outright release prior to their 10-2 win over the San Diego Padres. Ramirez never appeared with the A's despite being eligible to join the team on May 30.

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