UPDATE: Phillies, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. agree to four-year contract extension


UPDATE: According to Todd Zolecki of, the Phillies and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. have agreed to a four-year contract extension. He’ll remain in the fold through 2015.

7:12 PM, Friday: A team source tells Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer that a contract extension for general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is “done.”

10:15 AM, Friday: Earlier this week manager Charlie Manuel and the Phillies agreed to a two-year contract extension and now Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that the team is “virtually done” and “lacking just the finishing touches” on an extension with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

After playing eight seasons in the majors as a light-hitting outfielder Amaro spent 10 years as the Phillies’ assistant GM, working as the right-hand man for both Ed Wade and Pat Gillick. He took over for the retiring Gillick as GM just days after the team won the World Series in 2008 and has pulled the trigger on some incredibly bold moves in two-and-a-half years on the job.

Under his watch the Phillies have built a potentially historic rotation around holdovers Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton, as Amaro twice acquired Cliff Lee and also traded for Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. He’s also made some questionable moves, like signing Ryan Howard to a $125 million extension long before it was necessary, but Amaro has built the Phillies into a powerhouse capable of extending their streak of four straight playoff appearances for years to come.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.