Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier finished up a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday night, going 2-for-3 for Triple-A Albuquerque, and is set to rejoin the big league club on Monday night in Arizona. Or so says ESPN Los Angeles’ Tony Jackson.
Ethier, 28, has been on the disabled list since May 18 with a fracture at the tip of his pinkie finger. He was scorching hot offensively before the injury and will try to pick up right where he left off against the Diamondbacks on Monday night.
The former Arizona State Sun Devil was batting a ridiculous .392/.457/.744 through 33 games with 11 home runs and 38 RBI. The Dodgers have won only five of their last 10 games without him and still trail the Padres by two games in the National League West standings.
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.