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Jose Lobaton hits second 3-run homer in Nationals’ playoff history

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On a day when the wind gusted through Nationals Park at an estimated 25 m.p.h., hitting left field and threatening to limit any potential damage by right-handed batters like Justin Turner and Jayson Werth, Jose Lobaton hit his first home run of the postseason.

Lobaton struck in the fourth inning on a 1-1 Rich Hill curveball, driving in Daniel Murphy and Danny Espinosa to take the lead 3-2 in the fourth inning. According to Statcast, the pitch was barreled 102.6 mp.h. off the bat, good for 394 feet in the left bleachers. Not only was it the first lead the of the Nationals’ 2016 playoff run, but it marked just the second time that a Nationals’ batter hit a three-run jack in postseason history.

The last and only batter to hit a three-run postseason homer for the Nationals was outfielder Jerry White. Tied 1-1 in the 1981 NLCS, White went yard in the sixth inning against Los Angeles hurler Jerry Reuss to clinch Game 3 for the Montreal Expos. The Expos went on to lose the NLCS in five games, while the Dodgers eventually clinched the World Series against the Yankees in six.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UELMWGucv4I&w=560&h=315]

The Nationals currently lead the Dodgers 4-2 in the sixth.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.