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Nixon helps his cause

Trot Nixon hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to snap a tie and lift the Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies in Cactus League action

Trot Nixon hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to snap a tie and lift the Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies in Cactus League action on Thursday. The performance will boost Nixon's hopes of earning a spot on the roster with the team when the new Major League season starts next month. Meanwhile, Blake DeWitt blasted two-run home runs and Chad Billingsley pitched two scoreless innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers had a 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres.

Alex Gordon belted a grand slam to highlight a seven-run fifth inning in a 9-9 stalemate between the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians. Sean Marshall threw three perfect innings and Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez each hit their first home runs of the spring as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-4. Randy Johnson struck out seven to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 7-6 victory over his former team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In Grapefruit League action, Jonng Gomes hit a grand slam to help the Cincinnati Reds to a 9-8 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Chris Duncan hit a homer and drove in five runs as the St Louis Cardinals rolled to a 15-4 win over the New York Mets. Duncan, who went four-for-four, belted a three-run homer off Freddy Garcia in the first inning and drove in two more runs with a triple in the third.

The left fielder also had a pair of singles. Meanwhile the Tampa Bay Rays coasted to a 12-2 victory over the Houston Astros, with Jason Bartlett going three for three on hits. Meanwhile the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez will leave the World Baseball Classic's Dominican Republic team in Florida and fly to Colorado and have his hip examined. Rodriguez, Major League Baseball's highest paid player, has been experiencing right hip tightness and stiffness in pre-season training and a MRI scan in Florida revealed a cyst on his hip. * With agencies

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