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Big League Stew

The Juice: Orioles’ Wilson Betemit walks it off, Bryce Harper makes a great catch

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.

Can't find a Betemit: If you had lost track of Wilson Betemit, if you weren't sure where he was playing this season, the answer is the Baltimore Orioles. If you also lost track of the O's, they're in first place in the AL East after Betemit's tie-breaking, game-ending home run capped a furious ninth-inning rally to beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Sunday. The O's came into the ninth scoreless against Bartolo Colon and, later, closer Grant Balfour. But Matt Wieters tied the score with a double and, after an intentional walk, Betemit took Balfour deep for a three-run jack and victory. And if the sound system at Oriole Park didn't play "Better Man" by Pearl Jam, they missed an opportunity.

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

At odds with reality: What's even funnier about the O's being in first place is how Coolstandings.com, which keeps track of playoff probabilities, still pegs Baltimore as the longest shot to win the division at 9.7 percent. Science and math geeks don't respect the Orioles! Nerrrrrrrrrrrrrds!

Bryce Harper, Day 2: For his first day game, he was in full makeup (H/N: Nats Inquirer). At the plate, he got another hit (a single), and he drew a walk in three at-bats. In the field, Harper made a tough leaping grab while banging against the fence in center, which we'll be happy to show you:

"It's better than running into a wooden wall in Syracuse," Harper said.

The Nationals were otherwise contained by left-hander Chris Capuano, who helped the Dodgers complete a three-game sweep in a 2-0 victory.

[Related: Bryce Harper's 'skullet' haircut is a blast from the 1980s past]

Sunday, Cubbie Sunday: Matt Garza was just, wow, against the Phillies, allowing one hit and one walk and striking out 10 over seven innings in a 5-1 victory for the Cubs. He retired 19 straight after a single by Jimmy Rollins in the first. Joe Mather, heretofore known as "The Beaver," hit a solo home run for the Cubs.

Rockie mountain highs, lows: First, Todd Helton tied the score with a grand slam in the eighth. Then, Carlos Gonzalez tied the score again with a solo homer in the 10th. Finally, Marco Scutaro t... oh. He flied out to deep left and the Mets finally turned away the Rockies, 6-5 in 11.

[Related: What if it all comes together for Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton?]

Price finally right against Texas: After coming in with a 5.30 ERA in nine career starts against the Rangers, left-hander David Price struck out six and allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings to get the decision in Tampa Bay's 5-2 victory. Texas manager Ron Washington got ejected on his 60th birthday, Josh Hamilton left the game because of a sore back and Rays closer Fernando Rodney survived some odd happenings in the ninth to pick up a save.

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Quote of the Day: ''The mighty sun was on our side today" — Cleveland manager Manny Acta, after Angels outfielder Torii Hunter lost a fly ball that allowed the first two runs to score in the Indians' 4-0 victory. Hunter also made a nice catch to start a double play later on, but ...

* * *

Photo of the Day: Austin Jackson nearly makes the play of the season to rob Curtis Granderson of the Yankees.

View photo


Almost. (Getty)

But he could not come up with the ball after his glove banged into a pole beyond the right-field fence. This was almost some serious Gary Matthews Jr. stuff right there. Instead, it's a home run for Grandy and simply a great attempt for Austin.

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Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• The Yankees stranded 15 runners in their 6-2 victory against the Tigers, but that's still five off the major-league record, which New York set in 1956.

• The Mariners went 0 for 14 with runners in scoring position in a 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

• Albert Pujols has gone 117 at-bats without a home run after finishing 0 for 4 at Cleveland on Sunday.

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