Ryan Braun served as the designated hitter in the Milwaukee Brewer’s 9-4 win over the host NY Yankees on Friday. Evidently his calf is still give him problems and the Brewers probably didn’t want to tax him too much right before the All-Star break. Braun hit his 11th double, walked, and scored two runs. He did play left field in the following game, going 0-for-4 at the plate as the Yankees won on a walk-off home run. And sure enough, he came out of that one with a cramp. Braun was excused from Sunday’s rubber game, won by the Brewers (50-41), 5-3.
Alex Bregman had two hits in 11 at-bats for the Houston Astros in their weekend against the host Toronto Blue Jays (the two teams began their series on Thursday) and both went for doubles, giving him 21 on the year. The latter came in the Astros’ 19-1 laugher. He also walked twice and scored three runs. Kevin Pillar was also 2-for-11, but only one of those was a double, his 23rd. He did make another nifty catch on an otherwise dismal Sunday. The Astros, at 60-29, how have the second-best record in the Majors (see below).
Danny Valencia stroked three hits — a double (#12) and two singles — on Friday for the Seattle Mariners in a 7-2 win over the visiting Oakland As. They were his only hits in 10 at-bats over the weekend. He scored four times as the Mariners (43-47) split their four-game series with the A’s (39-50). Ryan Lavarnway started Friday’s game behind the plate and went 0-for-2 before coming out for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. He was designated for assignment the next day.
Joc Pederson hit a two-run homer on Saturday (his ninth) to get the LA Dodgers — who sport baseball’s best record at 61-29 — on the scoreboard in their 10-inning, 5-4 win over the visiting KC Royals. He also nailed a runner at the plate in a Statcast-worthy clip. It was one of two hits he had on the day. He had gone 1-for-4 on Friday and did not play in Sunday’s game, as the Dodgers completed the sweep.
Ian Kinsler drove in the first run for the Detroit Tigers (39-48) who held off the host Cleveland Indians for a 5-3 win on Sunday. Overall, Kinsler was 3-for-11 with a walk and a run scored as the Tigers lost two of their three-game set.
Richard Bleier finally gave up a run in 2.2 innings as the Baltimore Orioles (42-46) beat the Minnesota Twins (45-43), 11-5, on Sunday. It was the first run he’s allowed first since June 22 and it was unearned. In fact, Bleier has given up just one earned run in his last 20 appearances. According to TwinsDaily.com, “Craig Breslow made his first rehab appearances and saw a runner score after he gave up a walk and a double with two outs.”
Scott Feldman did not appear for the Cincinnati Reds (39-49) who took two of three from the host Arizona Diamondbacks.
As we head into the All-Star break, there have been a dozen MOTs who have appeared in a Major League game this season. Unfortunately, many of them have spent time on the disabled list for one reason or another. I’ll go into that in more detail in tomorrow’s entry. Shalom, y’all.