Playing with a heavy heart hasn’t slowed Josh Hamilton.
The 2010 AL MVP delivered a two-run homer off Andrew Bailey in the bottom of the ninth to give the Rangers a 7-6 win over the A’s on Saturday.
It was the first homer allowed by Bailey in 15 innings this season, and it traveled 435 feet into the second deck of seats in right field.
Hamilton finished the game 4-for-5 with three RBI. Two of his other three hits were doubles. The walkoff homer was the second of his career. The other came off the Angels’ Francisco Rodriguez on the same date three years ago.
The Rangers have won six games in a row, and tonight was their 50th of the season. They’re the third AL team to reach that plateau, joining the Red Sox and the Yankees, and they lead the Angels by one game in the AL West.
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.