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The Juice: Mesoraco’s grand slam helps Reds complete four-game sweep of Braves

Mark Townsend
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.

The Magnificent Mesoraco: Devin Mesoraco delivered a timely first on Thursday night. With his Reds trailing 2-1 in the sixth inning, the Reds rookie catcher deposited Kris Medlen's 2-0 pitch deep into the left field seats (just inside the foul pole) for his first career grand slam.

''That's kind of why I paused at the plate at the start,'' Mesoraco said. ''I wasn't sure it was going to stay fair, but it stayed true. It didn't tail. That's a pretty good sign for me as a hitter.''

It was a no-doubter, at least in terms of distance. And once the Reds handed the ball to their bullpen — even with Aroldis Chapman unavailable — the result was also no longer in doubt. Reds win it 6-3, completing their first four-game of the Braves in Cincinnati since 1980, and pushing them into first place in the NL Central.

All about Choo: It's not often that a hitter gets a good piece of a Justin Verlander offering. It's even rarer when a hitter gets all of one, but that's exactly what Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo did on Thursday, hammering a first inning solo home run that traveled an estimated 454 feet into Progressive Field's second deck.

As expected, though, the reigning American League CY Young and MVP rebounded well from the initial blast, allowing only one more run in his eight-inning complete game. But with the Tigers offense unable to solve the trio of Justin Masteron, Vinnie Pestrano and Chris Perez, Verlander was the tough luck loser — his first road loss since July 5, 2011 — as the Indians completed the sweep with a 2-1 victory.

Give and take: It looked like an easy night at the office for the Phillies after jumping out to a 6-0 second inning lead in St. Louis. Only these aren't the Phillies we're used to. Nothing comes easy. By the time the fifth inning ended, the game was all square at seven. But that's where rookie Freddy Galvis took the game back for good, knocking in the go-ahead run — his third RBI — in the sixth in what ultimately became a 10-9 win.

Photo of the Day: Welcome to the Big Show

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(AP)

Minnesota Twins pitcher Cole De Vries prepares for his major league debut against the Chicago White Sox. Unfortunately, it didn't go well, as De Vries was knocked around to the tune of six runs (three earned) in five innings in Chicago's 11-8 triumph.

Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• The San Diego Padres fielded a lineup in which the 6-7-8 hitters were all hitting below .200, yet pounded out a season-high 18 basehits in their 11-5 win over the Mets.

• Ryan Vogelsong struck out three more times and is now 0-for-15 with 13 strikeouts on the season. But the Giants pay him to pitch, and he did that just well enough in their 14-7 victory over the Marlins.

• The Angels notched their league best seventh shutout in a 3-0 win over the Mariners. Oh, and that Pujols guy hit a home run. He has 450 of those since 2001.

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