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The Juice: Alex Gordon gives baseball its third extra-innings grand slam in eight days

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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The Kansas City Royals had already taken a 4-3 lead over the Detroit Tigers in the 10th inning Thursday when Alex Gordon came up to bat with the bases loaded. Another run would have been nice, sure. But Gordon gifted the Royals four, hitting his first career grand slam and giving the Royals an 8-3 lead that would later be the final score.

If this extra-inning grand slam thing sound familiar, it's with good reason. It was the third time in eight days that a player hit one. On Wednesday, it was Jordany Valdespin who hit one for the Mets. And don't forget Matt Wieters hitting one for the Orioles last Thursday night. The last time there were three extra-inning grand slams were hit so close together? 2005.

Gordon's grand slam punctuated what had been more of an ace's duel in the beginning. Justin Verlander pitched for the Tigers and threw seven innings of two-run ball, facing James Shields, who pitched eight innings and gave up three runs. Verlander left the game with a thumb injury, a blister apparently. He says it's no big deal and he'll make his next start.

O's pound A's: The Baltimore Orioles proved better cross-country travelers than the Oakland Athletics. Both teams played on the East Coast on Wednesday, but only one team's bats arrived awake in California on Thursday. The O's cranked out 15 hits to rout the A's 10-2. For the Orioles, it was a welcome change of fortune. They had lost 16 of their last 19 games in Oakland.

Ninth inning homer lifts Cubs over Marlins: With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Luis Valbuena of the Chicago Cubs hit a solo home run to secure a 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins. It's one of those moments you dream about as a kid. But Valbuena, actually, had different motivation: "'I didn't want to play extra innings,'' he said. That's one way to prevent them. Luckily Carlos Marmol could close things out for the Cubs and everybody got to go home.

MORE SCORES

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(AP)

Mariners 6, Angels 0: Rookie Brandon Maurer and two relievers shut out the Halos.

D-backs 3, Rockies 2: Trevor Cahill and Paul Goldschmidt lead Arizona over Colorado.

White Sox 5, Rays 2: Chris Sale rebounds after two losses to quiet the Rays.

Rangers 2, Twins 1: Rookie Nick Tepesch picks up second win of season, while Ian Kinsler goes 3-for-5.

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3: Vernon Wells and Robinson Cano homer to lead the Yanks.

Nationals 8, Reds 1: Gio Gonzalez gets his groove back, allowing one hit over eight innings.

Dodgers 3, Mets 2: Andre Ethier and Juan Uribe get ninth-inning RBIs to carry L.A. after a strong start from Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Red Sox 7, Astros 2: David Ortiz's big day — 3-for-4 with a homer — helps Boston breeze past Houston.

Pirates 6, Phillies 4: Pirates score five runs in the seventh and eighth innings for the comeback win.

If Astros fans “want a villain, it’s me because I made the decision" — Bud Selig, about Houston's move to American League.

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(USA Today)

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons and an umpire enjoy some quiet time together. Oh no, wait, Gibbons is irate about an overturned out call at first base in the seventh inning.

Seattle Mariners outfielder Carlos Peguero's third-inning homer — on his first at-bat of the season after a Triple-A call-up — is the third longest in Safeco Field history. At 451 feet, it's behind only Barry Bonds (462 in 2006) and Raul Ibanez (460 in 2007).

• Clay Buchholz's 1.19 ERA is lowest by a Red Sox pitcher through his first five starts of a season since 1991, when Roger Clemens had 0.66.

• Austin Jackson snapped a 26-at-bat hitless steak. The longest in the league, and the longest for a Detroit Tiger since 2001. Before the streak, Jackson's batting average was .368. Now it's .277.

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