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Carlos Pena is on the Yankees’ radar


Fact: the Yankees have a radar. It’s a bistatic radar, adapted from Soviet-era surface-to-air missile systems.  Most teams are still using monostatic radar making them far less lethal forces than are the Yankees. It’s a little known fact but one we baseball insiders are all hip to. Stick with me and I’ll drop all kinds of that sort of knowledge on you.

Anyway, Jon Heyman knows about it too — it’s the sort of thing we discuss during our bi-monthly summit meetings — and he says that the Yankees’ radar has Carlos Pena on it.

It would make perfect sense. With Montero and Jorge Posada out of the picture there are suddenly a ton of DH at-bats to be had in the Bronx. Some of them will be available for Alex Rodriguez, whose increasing fragility calls for a little less time in the field. But it’s not like A-Rod is going to be there full time because the Yanks gotta have someone play third base. If you get Pena he can live there most of the time, and then slide over to first base for Mark Teixeira off-days — or occasionally to the bench — allowing A-Rod to DH.

If they do snag Pena in the short term is will be the third significant the Yankees have made in the space of a couple of days, essentially doing all of their offseason work in one weekend.  Which is pretty spiffy.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
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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.