A-Rod homers three times in win over Kansas City

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Hey, this guy’s pretty good.

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez slugged three home runs and collected a total of five RBI in Saturday’s 8-3 defeat of the Royals.  He delivered a solo shot in the sixth inning, a two-run shot in the seventh and another two-runner in the top of the ninth.

It took Rodriguez a grueling 47 at-bats to climb from career home run No. 599 to 600, but he now has five dingers in his last nine games and an .896 OPS over 47 August at-bats.

Not that the Yankees need the extra help, but A-Rod seems to be getting hot at the right time.  He was exceptional in last year’s postseason, helping the Yanks to their 27th World Series title, and there’s a good chance he will play a major role this October.

The Yankees currently hold a two-game lead over the Rays for first place in the American League East with 46 games to play.  They will wrap up a three-game set in Kansas City on Sunday afternoon.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.