Big League Stew

The Juice: Nick Swisher’s homer seals sweep of O’s, Tim Lincecum struggles at Coors Field

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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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.

Nick Swisher secures sweep: The New York Yankees right fielder hit a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to lift his team to a 6-4 win and series sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday. It was the second extra-inning game for New York in as many days and Baltimore is getting used to having its hopes crushed late. The Yankees have gone 16-5 against the O's dating back to the start of 2011, which includes a 5-2 record in extra-inning games.

[Les Carpenter: Closer Mariano Rivera keeps answering the call for the Yankees]

Tim Lincecum falters again: The San Francisco Giants ace got a healthy haircut between his first and second start of the season, but it didn't matter much in a 17-8 loss to Colorado. Lincecum gave up six earned runs and eight hits before exiting the game with one out in the third inning. The performance is sure to incite some panic, but it's worth wondering if anyone could have stopped the Rockies on Wednesday. Colorado's 22 hits were its highest total since game in 2000 that was held not at Coors Field but in Montreal's Olympic Stadium.  The 22-hit total somehow did not include a single home run.

D-Backs last team to lose: With Justin Verlander and the Tigers blowing a ninth-inning lead to the Rays earlier in the day, Arizona had a shot to be the lone undefeated team in MLB come Thursday morning. But no dice. A two-run shot by Chris Denorfia in the eighth inning lifted the San Diego Padres to a 2-1 victory over Arizona, killing all those dreams we had of a 162-0 season in the desert.

Twins the last team to win: A 6-5 Twins victory over the Angels was guaranteed the minute I mused on Wednesday afternoon that Minnesota would start the season 0-12. The Twins had scored a total of six runs over its first four games before posting six against the Angels pitching.

[Related: Twins' Jamey Carroll ends slump after son's tears over his hitless streak]

Stephen Strasburg hits triple digits for the first time: Nope, not on the radar gun. We're talking about the pitch count as Strasburg threw 108 times during six innings of shutout ball in a 4-o win over Johan Santana and the New York Mets. Strasburg's previous high was 99 pitches, set in 2010 and a mark that Strasburg seemed bent on breaking. "I probably would have had to strangle him to get the ball to get him out of the game," Nats manager Davey Johnson said.

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Quote of the Day:  "Ricky was the story here today." — Toronto manager John Farrell after Ricky Romero allowed just three hits in 8 1/3 innings during a 3-1 victory over Boston. The game dropped the Red Sox to 1-5 as they head home for opening day at Fenway.

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Photo of the Day: Down and out in Philadelphia

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The great pitching duel in Philadelphia never materialized. Though the Phillies' Roy Halladay did his part by throwing seven innings of one-run ball in a 7-1 win over Miami, the Marlins' Josh Johnson did not. The final damage: 3 2/3 innings, six earned runs and a career-high 11 hits as the Phillies offense finally figured itself out for a night.

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Three facts for the water cooler

Justin Verlander hadn't lost a regular-season game since July 15, 2011. He was on his way to extending that streak on Wednesday before surrendering four earned runs in the top of the ninth during a 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

• CC Sabathia didn't earn a loss, but he did see his streak of seven straight wins in starts against Baltimore come to an end in the Yankees' 6-4 victory. Sabathia struck out eight over six innings, but also surrendered four earned runs and left the game with the O's winning by a score of 4-3. Can't feel too bad for him, though: He's still 16-2 lifetime against Baltimore.

• We covered this in a separate post, but Kansas City closer Jonathan Broxton had himself a night, becoming only the second pitcher since 1948 to end a game by hitting two straight batters. Wild.

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