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With their desired lineup intact for the first time in 40 games, the Atlanta Braves offense turned it up a notch in their 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jason Heyward, who just returned from the disabled list on Thursday after undergoing an emergency appendectomy in Colorado last month, reached base three times to help set the table. Justin Upton then cleared it in the sixth, cracking his third career grand slam off Paco Rodriguez.
''As soon as he took that swing, I knew that ball was going to be out of the ballpark,'' said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. ''That was one of the prettiest swings I've seen put on a baseball.'
After traveling an estimated 461 feet, we're sure the baseball agreed with Gonzalez's assessment. It was Upton's tenth homer — out of 14 — to travel over 420 feet this season. He's averaging 427 feet on all of his home runs, which is the most for any players with more than five.
Just awesome, game-changing power. As we're about to learn, though, the Diamondbacks aren't exactly lacking that type of player despite trading Upton during the offseason. But boy how nice would it be to have two of them?
Good as Goldy: How about the start for Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt? After going 4 for 5 with two more home runs and 4 RBIs in the D-Backs 9-2 win over the Marlins on Friday night, the 25-year-old slugger is up to .338 on the season with 12 big flys and 35 driven in. Only Upton has more homers in the National League with his 14. Goldschmidt is also second in RBIs to Brandon Phillips. An all-star bid seems more likely with each passing day.
Hiroki Special: For the fifth time since the beginning of the 2012 season, Hiroki Kuroda gave the New York Yankees eight plus innings of scoreless baseball. Only Felix Hernandez has more during that time with eight. Kuroda didn't have much room for error on this night as Mark Buehrle nearly matched him through six innings. New York did manage single runs in the first and fifth, and then finally broke it open with a three spot in the seventh to lock up their 5-0 win.
Rosales strikes again! And this time... it counts! After hitting a game-tying home in Cleveland last week that was incorrectly ruled (despite a review) a double, Adam Rosales left no doubt on Friday. His eighth inning solo home run was the difference in Oakland's 2-1 victory over James Shield and the Royals.
''I think I was pretty sure about that one,'' Rosales said with an ear-to-ear grin. ''It felt good to get over that hump. Every ballfield I went to, they all were saying, 'Oh, it was a homer,' or you talk to family and friends and like, 'Yeah, it was a homer.' So, now they'll be talking about something else. They'll talk about a real homer.''
And more importantly, a real win.
Mets 3, Cubs 2: Matt Harvey gets the win on the hill and the game-winning RBI at the plate. He’s already 5-0.
Phillies 5, Reds 3: Philly gets two in the eighth after bullpen blows lead for Cliff Lee.
Indians 6, Mariners 3 (10 inn.): Three-run, walk-off home run by Jason Kipnis sends Indians fans home happy.
Rays 12, Orioles 10: Camouflaged Rays strike early and often, then hold on as O's rally for six runs in eighth.
Cardinals 7, Brewers 6: David Freese's long-awaited first home run in 2013 was a grand slam. That helped St. Louis overcome two three-run homers by Aramis Ramirez.
Rockies 10, Giants 9: Jordan Pacheco's go-ahead grand slam in the fifth holds up as Colorado snaps their 10-game losing streak to San Francisco.
White Sox 3, Angels 0: Even dozen strikeouts for Chris Sale.
Nationals 6, Padres 5 (10 inn.): Chad Tracy homers off Huston Street in the tenth. That's six allowed by San Diego's closer in 17 innings.
Yankees are the first team in AL history to begin a season 17-0 in games they've scored first.
''We don't want to be the heart-attack kids, but it's a good character check for us right away.''
— Jonny Gomes on Boston's back-to-back dramatic road victories in their final at-bats.
• Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson became first pitcher to allow eight earned runs and still win the game since Andy Pettitte in 2007.
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