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Big League Stew

The Juice: Bryce Harper’s triple against Halladay keys Nats win, Dodgers roar back

Big League Stew

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.

Three years in the making: Bryce Harper hit his third triple of the season already, and he drove in two runs against Roy Halladay to lead the Washington Nationals to a 5-2 victory at Philadelphia on Tuesday night. The 19-year-old said in Mark Zuckerman's Nats Insider — in a post titled "Broad Street Beatdown" — that he's actually been scouting Halladay for three years and he couldn't wait to exploit a perceived weakness. Harper's two-run triple put the Nats ahead in the third inning and keyed their sixth straight victory at Citizens Bank Park.

"I've been watching him for about three years," Harper said. "He throws a first-pitch curveball to so many people, and they just let it get over the plate. So I was just really trying to get something up in that situation and get something going. We had two guys on, and you had to get them in."

Halladay, who came in with a dominating record against Washington, reflected on what's going wrong in Philly, which has lost four straight and is 21-23 overall.

Dodger time: The injury riddled Los Angeles Dodgers improved to 30-13 by picking up an unlikely 8-7 victory at Arizona. Ivan DeJesus muscled-up for a two-out, two-run, go-ahead double in the ninth against closer J.J. Putz, and shortstop Dee Gordon hung in there on defense to help turn an acrobatic game-ending double play with runners at the corners in the bottom of the ninth. Arizona squandered a five-run lead in the seventh, and is 11 1/2 games out of first place. The Dodgers are 7-2 without Matt Kemp in the lineup.

Waino bueno once again: Adam Wainwright tossed his first shutout since August 2010, a 4-0 victory against San Diego, which gave the St. Louis Cardinals' top starter a big sense of relief. Wainwright said he told teammate Jake Westbrook this might be the best feeling he's ever had pitching — which is saying something given Wainwright's accomplishments. Waino missed the 2011 season because of Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery:

''All of the emotion came from just knowing it's been over a year since I've done that,'' Wainwright said. ''Mentally, I was so much better.''

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View photo

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(AP)

You really like me!: Closer Chris Perez apparently made up with Cleveland Indians fans, who cheered him like crazy before and after he picked up the save in a 5-3 victory against the Tigers. Perez has made a couple of rants recently about the lack of fan support at the Indians ballpark, and has wondered why the overall mood in Cleveland isn't better, given that his team's in first place. He's even willing to give away tickets to games to boost attendance. Fans have responded (mostly) kindly and Perez seemed appreciate it on Twitter:

Wow, I'm truly humbled, honored, and grateful for the reception Cleveland! Huge team win for us tonight. Let's keep it going tomorrow

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Quote of the Day: ''I had chills going through my body. It's such a great feeling to see the fans on their feet like that. You know, it really means a lot to have the support of the fans behind us. It's a pretty special feeling.'' — Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz, who allowed two hits and had nine strikeouts in a 4-1 victory against the Red Sox. The O's have won six of eight and at 28-16 sit atop the AL East after finishing last in 2011. Matusz, a top pitcher before injuries came, had a 10.69 ERA and made two trips to the disabled list in '11.

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Play of the Day: Get off your butt and do something!

Oh, he did. Josh Donaldson of the Oakland Athletics does what every Little League third baseman is told not to do — he cut off the shortstop in the hole — but he recovered nicely to throw out Maicer Izturis at first base. The A's made a few terrific defensive plays on the night, but they were dominated on the scoreboard by the Angels 5-0. C.J. Wilson and Ernesto Frieri combined on a one-hitter and Albert Pujols hit his fourth homer, his third deep in seven games.

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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• Knuckleball maven R.A. Dickey struck out a career-high 11 in a 3-2 Mets victory against Pittsburgh. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle noted that he also threw only two balls in the dirt over seven innings.

• Reds closer Aroldis Chapman hit 100 mph (not in his car) three times in 18 pitches, striking out two for the save that preserved a 4-3 victory against the Braves. Brandon Phillips added two homers for Cincy.

• Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco set the Miami Marlins franchise record for career victories, improving to 69-52 to surpass Dontrelle Willis, and the Fish beat the Rockies 7-6. The Marlins are 16-5 in May, though only 22,242 fans showed in their new ballpark, the smallest attendance so far.

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