Tigers sign Brandon Inge to two-year, $11.5 million deal with option for 2013

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Last week general manager Dave Dombrowski said the Tigers “would ideally like to” sign free agent-to-be Brandon Inge before he hit the open market five days after the World Series and sure enough the two sides have agreed to a deal.

Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that he’ll get $11 million for two years, with the Tigers holding a $6 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2013.

Inge is 33 years old and hasn’t been above-average offensively since 2006, so there’s a pretty good chance the Tigers will regret this move.

He made $6.6 million this season to complete a four-year, $24 million contract that saw him hit just .231 with a .314 on-base percentage and .389 slugging percentage in 569 games while producing an OPS below .725 in all four seasons.

His defense is excellent–and sure enough, in announcing the deal that’s what Dombrowski focused on–but locking up veteran mediocrity into the mid-30s is rarely a sound decision.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.