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)
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.