Nelson Cruz ties a record

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I noted in ATH that Nelson Cruz had homered in four straight games to open the season, but I wasn’t aware that this was a record. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, only two others have done that before: Willie Mays in 1971 and Mark McGwire in 1998.

Cruz faces Mariners’ rookie Michael Pineda tonight. A home run puts him all alone in the dingers-to-start-the-year category.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.