Sunday Insider: Central Intelligence

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 7, 2013 - 12:36 AM
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Lorenzo Cain.

Photo: Orlin Wagner, Associated Press - Ap

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Lorenzo Cain’s grand slam Thursday did more than spark a rally that won a game for the Royals. It also won Debbie Hassed of Overland Park, Kan., $25,000 from the Sonic burger chain, which for several years has sponsored a contest to reward a fan when a Royals player hits a grand slam in the sixth inning. Cain’s slam was Kansas City’s first in the sixth inning since 2004.

• • •

So far, so good for the new Tigers closer. Since being handed the job when Jose Valverde was sent to Toledo, Joaquin Benoit is 3-for-3 in save situations, and has given up only one run in six appearances. Best of all, he has walked one batter while striking out 10, alleviating concerns about his control.

• • •

Jason Giambi is batting .202, but the 42-year-old has made it count. Of his 22 hits in a limited role, 12 have been for extra bases, and he is batting .346 with runners in scoring position. That explains his 22 RBI in just 109 at-bats.

• • •

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf hired Jim Thome to be a special assistant to the general manager last week, to evaluate the team’s minor league prospects. But Reinsdorf sees a bigger role ahead, too. “I think Jim Thome someday will manage a major league team,” he said. “He’d be a great hitting coach, but someday he’ll be a manager.”

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