Astros, Hunter Pence avoid arbitration

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The Astros have reached a middle ground with outfielder Hunter Pence, agreeing Saturday on a one-year, $3.5 million contract for 2010.  The talented 26-year-old requested $4.1 million and was offered $3.1 million when arbitration figures were exchanged on Tuesday.  He hit .282/.346/.472 last season with 25 home runs, 26 doubles, 72 RBI and 14 stolen bases.

The deal leaves the Astros with only two remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible players: left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak and left-handed starter Wandy Rodriguez.  AOL Fanhouse’s Ed Price “tweeted” Friday that Houston management is “said to be unwilling to do multi-year deals with any of their
arbitration-eligible” players.  You know, just in case the fellas were wondering.  Fight on, Drayton McLane.

Brian Dozier’s 24-game hitting streak ends

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Twins second baseman Brian Dozier entered Tuesday night’s action having hit safely in all 17 games this season and in 24 games consecutively dating back to last season. Sadly for him and for the Twins, that streak ended with an 0-for-4 performance against the Yankees.

Dozier grounded out in the first inning, flied out in the third, grounded out in the sixth, and grounded out again in the eighth.

Despite his streak ending, Dozier still has good numbers on the year. He’s hitting .291/.356/.494 with four home runs, 10 RBI, and 15 runs scored in 87 plate appearances.