Rangers beat A's, clinch American League West crown

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Buoyed by a solid performance from starter Derek Holland and a game-winning eighth-inning home run by first baseman Jorge Cantu, the Rangers became the second MLB team to wrap up a spot in the playoffs Saturday with a 4-3 victory over the A’s.

The Twins grabbed the American League Central crown earlier this week.

Congratulations are in order for manager Ron Washington, who has quickly become one of the more well-respected skippers in the game.  And general manager Jon Daniels, a great and young front-office mind.

The Rangers haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999, when they lost in the ALDS.  They haven’t made it to the ALCS or beyond in the 49-year history of the franchise.

Video: Rhys Hoskins gets revenge against Jacob Rhame with homer, slooooow trot

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Wednesday night’s Phillies-Mets game did not feature any beanballs or benches-clearing brawls, but it did feature Rhys Hoskins getting his revenge against Jacob Rhame. Last night, Rhame threw a fastball up-and-in at Hoskins. Rhame maintained his innocence, though Hoskins was skeptical.

Hoskins got a chance for revenge against Rhame in the ninth inning with the Phillies already ahead 4-0. Bryce Harper drew a leadoff walk. Hoskins then worked a 1-1 count before drilling a 95 MPH fastball over the left field fence for a two-run home run. Hoskins milked his accomplishment, taking a 34-second stroll around the bases. For a point of comparison, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo notes that noted speedster Bartolo Colón had a 30.5-second trot around the bases after homering in 2016. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki notes that Hoskins’ longest home run trot prior to this was clocked at 28.88 seconds. Wednesday’s trot was the first this season above 30 seconds across the league.

The dinger is Hoskins’ seventh of the season. He also walked and tripled in Wednesday’s 6-0 win. On the season, Hoskins is now batting .273/.402/.580 with 20 RBI and 18 runs scored in 107 plate appearances.