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Big League Stew

The Juice: Wieters’ monster homer propels O’s to victory, Aaron Cook tosses 81-pitch shutout

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday (and now on Saturdays) for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.

O's find their O: Pitching, pitching and more pitching has been the recipe for success for the Baltimore Orioles. But for one night at least the offense came to the party as well and helped them upend the Cleveland Indians in a back-and-forth, high-scoring affair, 9-8.

The game's biggest blow came off the bat of Matt Wieters, who delivered a three-run homer in the sixth to put the O's on top 7-5. Cleveland would rally to even the score in the seventh, but Ryan Flaherty quickly answered with an RBI single in the bottom half to put Baltimore back up one. Rookie Xavier Avery then hit his first career home run in the eighth to provide the necessary insurance run.

Aaron is Cookin': There are efficient outings and then there are Aaron Cook's efficient outings. The 33-year-old right-hander tossed a real masterpiece for the Boston Red Sox in their 5-0 win over the Seattle Mariners, needing only 81 pitches to go the distance in the complete game, two-hit shutout. But it was by no means the most economical of his career. Back in 2009, Cook tossed a 79-pitch shutout for the Colorado Rockies. And before that, Cook threw 74 pitches in a complete against the San Diego Padres, though they did manage to scratch across two runs.

Slumpbuster: The Tampa Bay Rays had scored only six total runs over their four-game losing streak entering play on Friday. The prospects for a turnaround didn't look good, either, with the reigning American League CY Young and MVP on the hill for their opponent. Yet the Rays found their way back in to the win column, connecting for three homers off Justin Verlander, as they took down the Tigers, 5-2.

Homerless since April 24, Desmond Jennings muscled up to hit two of those long balls for Tampa Bay — leading off the third and fifth innings — while Ben Zobrist added a solo shot of his own. Those three runs were all the support David Price needed to become the AL's first 11-game winner.

Death. Taxes. Dickey wins.: Here's a result everybody saw coming when they glanced over Friday's pitching probables. R.A. Dickey completely overwhelmed a short-handed and scuffling Dodgers offense with eight innings of scoreless, three-hit baseball, and became the major league's first 12-game winner as the Mets cruised to a 9-o win. Also worth noting, Dickey has now won ten consecutive decisions, and becomes the first Mets pitcher to begin a season 12-1.

One and done: Zack Cozart needed only one pitch to snap the San Francisco Giants shutout streak at four games. Cincinnati's rookie shortstop stepped right in against the recently perfect Matt Cain and deposited that first delivery over the left field wall to make it 1-0. And the Reds wouldn't stop there, tacking on two more in the first and solo runs in the fifth and sixth. The final run coming on a home run by starting pitcher Mike Leake, who went the distance on the hill in the Reds 5-1 victory.

Quote of the Day:

''I'll be honest, I was very happy I didn't get up against Dewayne. 'He's a good friend of mine. And no matter what you do, you're going to hear about it.''

— A.J. Pierzynski on the prospects of facing former teammate Dewayne Wise, an outfielder, who was needed in relief for the New York Yankees during their 14-7 loss to the Chicago Whtie Sox. Wise retired the only two batters he faced — Paul Konerko and Alex Rios — leaving Pierzynski in the on deck circle.

Photo of the Day: Never too early for fireworks.

View photo

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(Presswire)

A fireworks display lights up the sky above the Ballpark at Arlington. Not long before, an explosive four-run eight inning rally by the home team — highlighted by Craig Gentry's bases clearing triple — lit up the scoreboard, as the Rangers stole a 4-3 win away from the Oakland A's.

Three Facts for the Water Cooler:

• Jeff Francis became the first Rockies starting pitcher to win a game since June 4 in their 10-2 win over the Padres. June 4 is also the last time Colorado won consecutive games and is four days before Francis even joined the team.

• Congratulations are order for Carlos Beltran, who became the ninth Puerto-Rican born player to reach 2,000 career hits. Unfortunately, though, not enough of them came on Friday as the Cardinals were thumped by the Pirates, 14-5.

• Cliff Lee is still winless after the Phillies 6-2 loss to the Miami Marlins. And he's struggling mightily, having allowed at least five runs in three consecutive starts. Yikes.

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