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The Grand Slam: Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo gets game-winning pinch hit

Big League Stew

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Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter made a decision that seemed foolish and reasonable at the same time: With the score tied, nobody on base and two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning Tuesday night, he ordered left-hander T.J. McFarland to walk right-handed slugger Mark Reynolds.

By doing this, nobody is sure that Showalter violated one of baseball's legendary Unwritten Rules — purposely putting the potential winning run on base — because nobody actually has ever written the rules down. But it's safe to say the scenario would cause much debate at a hypothentical constitutional convention.

The Milwaukee Brewers had the pitcher's spot coming up and were out of position players because, as broadcaster Brian Anderson noted, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had used up his bench just to tie the score.

[Check THE MLB SCOREBOARD at Yahoo Sports]

Roenicke instead sent pitcher Yovani Gallardo up to the plate. He's a good hitter for being a pitcher — .204/.232/.353 — but he's a pitcher regardless. Via the Associated Press, Gallardo said:

''We work on it for that type of situation,'' Gallardo said. ''That's one of the reasons we're out there hitting every day before the position players, because you never know. Whether it be as simple as getting a bunt down or getting a guy over to third base or whatever.''

Bam! On a 2-0 pitch, Gallardo lined an RBI double to left-center, the 20th double in 424 career plate appearances of his career. Brewers win 7-6.

Half-jokingly or not, Showalter said he was aware of Gallardo's hitting ability but also that he hoped Gallardo "had gone home early" to rest up for his scheduled start Wednesday. No such luck.

JAYS WIN 8TH STRAIGHT:

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(AP)

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Edwin Encarnacion — you're not going to believe this — hit another home run and the Toronto Blue Jays won for the eighth time in a row, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 9-6. Left-hander Mark Buehrle won his fifth straight decision, and Encarnacion hit his 14th homer in May:

Juan Francisco also homered for the AL East-leading Blue Jays, who have won 13 of 15 and are 19-7 in May.

Buehrle said he's grateful to have Encarnacion's booming bat supporting him.

''He's everything you could ask for,'' Buehrle said. ''Offensively and defensively, he's awesome.''

LANCE LYNN PITCHES FIRST CAREER SHUTOUT:

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn made 72 starts, in the majors and minors, before pitching his first career shutout. He got it against the New York Yankees, dominating them in a five-hitter and 6-0 victory at Busch Stadium.

Lynn lobbied manager Mike Matheny for one more inning in order to close it out, the Associated Press reports. He finished with 116 pitches.

He is the seventh pitcher in franchise history to win 40 games before making a 100th career appearance, and topped his previous best of eight innings while baffling Yankees hitters with a sinker combined with a breaking pitch that Matheny thought was the best he's seen this season.

RED SOX WIN AGAIN: Bouncing back from a 10-game losing streak, the Boston Red Sox rallied with four runs in the seventh inning and beat the Atlanta Braves 6-3 at Turner Field. A two-run single by Jackie Bradley Jr. capped the comeback. (Listen to the Red Sox fans on the road.)

''It's good for our self-esteem,'' said Jonny Gomes, who singled and scored on Bradley's hit in the seventh, and then had a highlight-worthy catch in right field in the eighth.

Jon Lester (5-6) snapped a personal two-game losing streak by giving up three runs and eight hits in six innings.

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter!

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