Dugout Digest – the best finish imaginable

OK, let's go down the hierarchy of walkoff finishes (starting from the least satisfying), shall we?

-Walkoff wild pitch/balk/passed ball
-Walkoff error
-Walkoff walk/hit batsman
-Walkoff single
-Walkoff extra base hit
-Walkoff homer

What could possibly be better than a walkoff homer? Well, how about a walkoff grand slam? Because that's what happened in Baltimore last night. With the Rays and Orioles tied at six in the bottom of the tenth, Nick Markakis led the inning off with a single against Jamey Wright. Wright was pulled and replaced with Brandon Gomes, who allowed two more singles to Manny Machado and Adam Jones. That loaded the bases with none out for Matt Wieters, who performed the ultimate walkoff: the walkoff grand slam. That's right, Wieters smashed a ball over the right field fence at Camden Yards to give the O's a 10-6, ten inning win. Now, maybe the homer wasn't as satisfying as it could have been, since any fly ball would have ended the game…but it was still pretty damn awesome regardless.

PIC OF THE DAY

Ruben Tejada of the Mets makes a leaping throw after fielding a Troy Tulowitzki grounder. (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Night: Cardinals 4, Phillies 3. The anemic Phillies offense nearly pulled out a win, but at the end of the night, came up empty-handed. St Louis took a 2-0 lead in the fourth after a controversial double by Yadier Molina plated a pair of runs. The Phillies tied the game in the sixth after an RBI double from Freddy Galvis, and a run-scoring single from Chase Utley. St Louis bounced back in front in the seventh after a Pete Kozma sac fly brought in David Freese, but the Phillies tied it up once again with an Erik Kratz RBI single. In the eighth, Carlos Beltran put the Redbirds out in front again with a solo homer, and Philadelphia was in prime position to tie or win in the ninth with men on the corners and none out. But Kevin Frandsen grounded out (moving Kratz from first to second), Jimmy Rollins struck out, and Galvis grounded out to end the game, letting Ben Revere die on third base when just one ball hit out of the infield would have tied the game up.

Pitching Lines of the Night: RA Dickey was back in form for the Blue Jays in their 3-1 win over the White Sox, allowing two hits over six shutout frames, walking one and striking out seven. Pat Corbin had an awesome start for the Diamondbacks in their 6-2, ten inning win in the Bronx over the Yankees, allowing one run on two hits in seven innings, walking three and punching out seven. Hisashi Iwakuma outdueled Justin Verlander in Seattle's 2-0 win over Detroit, throwing six shutout innings and allowing just three hits, striking out two and walking one.

Hitting Lines of the Night: Brandon Crawford (Brandon Crawford?!) provided the Giants with a lot of offense in their 7-2 loss to Milwaukee, going 3/4 with two runs, a double, and a homer. The aforementioned Matt Wieters went 2/5 with two runs and a double to go along with his game-winning grand slam. Chris Johnson continued to rake for the Braves as they beat the Pirates 6-4, going 3/4 with a walk and a two-run homer. The Marlins got smashed by the Reds 11-1, thanks to Todd Frazier going 2/3 with three runs, two RBI, a walk, and his fifth homer of the year. Finally, tip your cap to James Loney and Desmond Jennings, who finally produced some runs for the Rays in a losing effort. Loney went 3/5 with two runs and his first homer of the year, while Jennings went 3/4 with two RBI and a homer.

Other Games: The Red Sox beat the Indians 6-3 once again. The Cubs beat the Rangers 6-2. The Rockies pounded Jon Niese and the Mets 11-3.

What You Missed: Derek Jeter will be out until at least the All-Star Break. Garrett and I had a point/counterpoint about which team has a better future: the Astros, or the Marlins. Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa shot down rumors linking him to the Angels job. Ian broke down whether or not Kevin Towers will regret the Justin Upton trade. Upton homered again last night, by the way. He has nine homers, the Diamondbacks as a team have 14. Yikes. And to top things off, Padres president Tom Garfinkel blamed Zack Greinke for causing last week's brawl.

Today's Games: Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Dodgers take on Jason Hammel and the Orioles. Tim Hudson and Wandy Rodriguez will duel in Pittsburgh. Andy Pettitte takes his Yankees to Toronto to battle Brandon Morrow and the Blue Jays. Jaime Garcia will be matched up with Roy Halladay in Philly. James Shields returns to his AL East stomping grounds, leading the Royals into Fenway to take on Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox. Mat Latos starts for the Reds, hosting Miami. Brett Anderson starts for the A's in Tampa Bay against Alex Cobb and the Rays. Stephen Strasburg will take on Matt Harvey in an absolutely tantalizing pitching matchup. Yu Darvish and the Rangers host the Mariners. Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs will make the short trek north to Milwaukee. Jake Peavy's White Sox host the Twins. Ian Kennedy and the Diamondbacks will try to halt the Rockies bandwagon led by Jhoulys Chacin. Madison Bumgarner and the Giants host the Padres. Anibal Sanchez starts for the Tigers in Anaheim.

National TV: Royals-Red Sox (7 PM, MLB Network), Braves-Pirates (7 PM, MLB Network [alternate])

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.

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