Josh Hamilton might be the hottest hitter on the planet right now, but Brandon Inge is a pretty close second.
Inge went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI last night as the Athletics topped the Tigers 11-4. It was Inge’s second straight night with a home run against his former team and the fourth game in his last five where he homered and drove in four runs. The 34-year-old third baseman had three home runs all of last season.
The most ridiculous part of it all? Inge is the first player to have four games with four RBI or more in five-game span since Lou Gehrig in 1931. Inge and Gehrig, forever linked in history. Baseball, I love you, but you’re crazy.
Your Friday box scores:
Rays 3, Orioles 4
Padres 3, Phillies 7
Mariners 2, Yankees 6
Astros 1, Pirates 0
Indians 5, Red Sox 7
Nationals 7, Reds 3
Angels 3, Rangers 10
Mets 5, Marlins 6
Royals 0, White Sox 5
Cubs 7, Brewers 8 (13 innings)
Blue Jays 6, Twins 7
Braves 9, Cardinals 7 (12 innings)
Giants 1, Diamondbacks 5
Rockies 3, Dodgers 7
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.