Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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The Rangers it again on Saturday afternoon, riding Josh Hamilton’s four-RBI performance and a solid first career start from Martin Perez to a 7-2 victory over the Athletics at a sold-out Ballpark in Arlington.

Hamilton is now batting .319 with a 1.038 OPS, 25 home runs and a league-leading 74 RBI. And Perez looks capable of serving as a reliable rotation fill-in while Texas’ regulars battle through health issues.

The Rangers are on a five-game winning streak and are the first team this season to reach the 50-win plateau. They’ve won seven straight season series and 17 of their last 21 games. And there’s no refuge in sight for the rest of the major leagues.

Your Saturday recaps and box scores:

Athletics 2, Rangers 7

White Sox 0, Yankees 4

Angels 2, Blue Jays 11

Royals 2, Twins 7 (Game 1)

Pirates 7, Cardinals 3

Indians 11, Orioles 5

Nationals 5, Braves 7

Astros 2, Cubs 3

Reds 2, Giants 1

Phillies 2, Marlins 3

Diamondbacks 2, Brewers 10

Mets 5, Dodgers 0

Padres 8, Rockies 4

Tigers 6, Rays 2

Royals 1, Twins 5 (Game 2)

Red Sox 2, Mariners 3 (11 innings)

Report: Giants in “serious discussions” with Reds to acquire Billy Hamilton

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Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.

Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.

Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.