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Astros chase Yu Darvish in the second inning… again

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Dodgers starter Yu Darvish once again could not finish the second inning of a World Series start. In Game 3, the Astros jumped on him for four runs and ultimately chased him with two outs in the frame. In Game 7, the Astros pounded him for five runs and chased him with two outs.

George Springer started the game off with a double and promptly scored during the next at-bat on a throwing error by first baseman Cody Bellinger, which allowed Alex Bregman to move to second base. Bregman stole third base, then scored on a Jose Altuve ground out.

In the second, Darvish walked Brian McCann to begin the frame. Marwin Gonzalez followed up with a double to put runners on second and third with now outs. Josh Reddick grounded out, which gave Darvish a way to escape the inning with no damage. However, opposing starter Lance McCullers knocked in a run with a soft ground out. Springer came up and ripped a no-doubt, two-run home run to left field, putting the nail in Darvish’s coffin. Brandon Morrow entered and struck out Bregman to escape the inning.

FanGraphs currently puts the Dodgers’ chances of winning at 10.5 percent. It’s not looking good for the boys in blue. The Astros are in a good position to win their first championship.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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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.