MLB voids Yankees signing due to identity fraud

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Earlier this month the Yankees signed 16-year-old shortstop Damian
Arredondo of the Dominican Republic for $850,000, but the deal has been
voided because … well, it turns out that he’s not a 16-year-old or
even named Damian Arredondo.

Melissa Segura of SI.com reports
that MLB’s “department of investigations” discovered the falsified
information as part of their “increased efforts to deter identity fraud
in Latin America.” Whoever he turns out to be, the person formerly
known as Damian Arredondo won’t be allowed to sign with anyone for one
year and could face criminal charges.

Gary Sanchez’s identity has reportedly been verified after the 16-year-old catcher from the Dominican Republic signed with the Yankees for $3 million, but MLB is apparently still investigating 16-year-old Miguel Angel Sano while multiple teams vie for the right to pay him upwards of $4 million.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.