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Big League Stew

The Juice: It’s getting dark for Rays, Orioles keep on keepin’ on

Big League Stew

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Evan Longoria (AP)

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.

Rays of lite: Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury had a big night with a home run and three RBIs, but it was the lack of bats that was the story for the Tampa Bay Rays. Again. The Rays can't hit, collectively, and too often that weakness catches up to the best pitching team in the league. They've scored 21 runs over the past seven games, six of which have been losses, after falling to the Red Sox 5-2 on Monday night. As a result, they've fallen 5 1/2 games out of first in the AL East and five out of the wild-card race with 15 games to play. Slugger Evan Longoria wasn't even in the lineup against Boston because of "heavy legs," manager Joe Maddon said.

O's come before M's: The Orioles wasted little time jumping all over the Mariners, scoring seven times in the first two innings on the way to a 10-4 victory at Safeco Field. The Orioles finished with 15 hits — Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer and Adam Jones scored four times — to support Chris Tillman and his other pitcher friends. Jones and Tillman came over in the Erik Bedard trade, of which you don't have to remind the Mariners.

[Les Carpenter: Time to give Buck Showalter's reputation a rest]

Late night at Wrigley Field: It's a notable Cubs T-shirt, but it's also what happens when you start about 10:45 p.m. local time because of a 3 1/2-hour rain delay. The sleepy Pirates slipped out of town with a much-needed 3-0 victory behind Kevin Correia. Bucs rookie Starling Marte hit a triple for the third straight game, which is just so cool.

Crawford on patrol: San Francisco's Brandon Crawford had a busy night — he tripled, doubled, scored on a passed ball and made the highlights again with good defense at short — in a 2-1 victory against Colorado. Madison Bumgarner said his mechanics were terrible as could be — and he did walk five in six innings — but the Rockies didn't make him pay. The Giants cut their magic number in the NL West to eight.

[MLB Full Count: Watch live look-ins and highlights for free all season long]

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Quote of the Day:

"This has been ongoing. ... This is a seasonal misadventure." — Joe Maddon, on the Rays' lack of offense.

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Photo of the Day: Infantecide

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(AP)

Alex Rios slides into second base, taking out infielder Omar Infante in a pivotal moment of the White Sox season. Infante made a throwing error on the play, allowing two runs to score in Chicago's 5-4 victory. The White Sox expanded their AL Central lead to three games over Detroit.

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Three Facts for the Water Cooler

• Tillman is 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in four career starts against the Mariners, and 11-17 with a 5.44 ERA against the rest of the league.

• White Sox reliever Nate Jones improved to 8-0 after throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings against the Tigers in a 5-4 victory. Jones has pitched in 61 2/3 innings overall, and has made no starts. Vulturous!

• The Braves improved to 51-o when scoring at least six runs after beating the Marlins 7-5.

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