Big League Stew

The Juice: Brandon Inge slam rocks Blue Jays, Giants get just enough of Clayton Kershaw

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.

Tiger left in the tank: Brandon Inge has two homers and eight RBIs over his past two games after lining a game-ending grand slam Tuesday night to beat the Blue Jays at Oakland. The A's scored five times in the ninth against Francisco Cordero to win 7-3. The Detroit Tigers seemed to agonize over releasing Inge two weeks ago, even though he's 35 years old; they had no playing time for him and he was coming off a season where he hit .197. Oakland, on the other hand, was desperate for help at third base and willing to give Inge a shot. He's appreciative that two troubled parties could agree:

''I'm so happy here right now,'' Inge said. ''I fit in. It's a new start for me. I welcomed it. I know we have a young ballclub, but they can play. I'm honored to be a part of this ballclub and trying to help them win. That's what feels the best.''

Do it, Butler: The Royals are in position to finish a homestand against the Yankees and Red Sox with a winning record after Billy Butler drilled a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth against Boston, leading to a 6-4 victory. Right-hander Daniel Bard was the guilty party for the Red Sox, completely melting down while taking seven-plus innings to do it. He allowed five runs, six hits, four walks, a wild pitch, and two balks — during the same at-bat. And yet, if he keeps Butler in the yard in the eighth, the Red Sox probably win.

Fourth to be reckoned with: In case you missed it, Josh Hamilton became the 16th player in history to hit four home runs in a game. How did he approach his final plate appearance? He was chill.

''I just went up like it was any other at-bat because if I don't hit one,'' Hamilton reasoned, ''I've still had a really good night.''

Giants knock off Kershaw: Behind 7 1/3 strong innings by right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, the Giants beat Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 on Tuesday night. The numbers on Kershaw — overall lately, at home, and against the San Francisco Giants — have been unreal. He didn't really hurt those statistics — aside from a two-run homer by Brett Pill, San Francisco's first by anyone in seven games — but Kershaw still got handed a loss because of a lack of run support. The Giants snapped an 0-6 run against Kershaw, who also lost at home for the first time since April 2011. He hadn't lost, period, since Aug. 7.

Spare the Rod, spoil the Nationals: Rod Barajas of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit a walkoff two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to beat Washington 5-4, and it got the TV broadcasters very excited. Very. Excited. I don't even know what the one guy was saying about Joel Hanrahan. Hey, go crazy, you kids.

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Quote of the Day: "I cried yesterday and they put me on some vitamins and today in the morning I felt better. I felt good.'' — Houston's Aneury Rodriguez, who had been feeling ill before Astros doctors worked their magic. He struck out six and allowed two runs in his 2012 debut, and Houston beat Miami 3-2.

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Photo of the Day: Did you hear the one about the guy who hit four homers in the game?

View photo

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(AP)

Josh Hamilton (center) shares a laugh (but hopefully not his gum) with David Murphy and Nelson Cruz (right).

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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• Red Sox rookie Will Middlebrooks, after hitting a double against Kansas City, joined Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter as the only players since 1920 (at least) to record an extra-base hit in each of his first five games. Middlebrooks had two homers and five RBIs in his previous games.

• They played Metallica's "Enter Sandman" for Mariano Rivera's entrance music at Yankee Stadium, but with him out for the year New York needs not only a new closer but a new tune. Enter right-hander David Robertson and ... "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Robertson loaded the bases in the ninth but picked up a save in a 5-3 victory against the Rays. Turn it up.

• Scott Rolen of the Reds hit a double in the eighth inning against the Brewers, and it was the 506th of his career, tying Babe Ruth for 48th on the all-time list. Anytime you tie Babe Ruth in something (baseball-related) it's worth noting. Way to go, Scott! Milwaukeee beat Cincinnati 8-3.

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