Finally given some protection in the lineup, Jose Bautista homers in first at-bat

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Jose Bautista, who went four straight at-bats Sunday without homering, got back in the swing of things Monday, taking Bartolo Colon deep in the first inning against the Yankees.

Bautista now has 18 1/2 homers this season.  We’re giving the other half of this one to Yunel Escobar, who had Colon shaking on the mound with his presence in the on-deck circle (though it might have been jiggling, we’re honestly not sure).

That’s because manager John Farrell made a switch today, dropping Escobar from the top of the lineup to fourth as a replacement for Aaron Hill.

Rajai Davis (.298 OBP) and Corey Patterson (.307 OBP) both made outs ahead of Bautista, so the homer was a solo shot.  But that’s a small price to pay.  It’s not like Bautista is ever going to see anything to hit if there’s guys on base for him.

Escobar (.363 OBP) went on to single with the bases empty and two outs before being stranded.

Batting champion Luis Arraez beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — AL batting champion Luis Arraez won his salary arbitration case and will get a $6.1 million salary from the Miami Marlins, who acquired the infielder from the Minnesota Twins last month.

Miami argued for a $5 million salary during a hearing before John Stout, Mark Burstein and Scott Buchheit. Arraez received a raise from $2.2 million.

Arraez hit .316 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and a .795 OPS last year for Minnesota, starting 61 games at first base, 34 at designated hitter and 31 at second. The 25-year-old was traded on Jan. 20 for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio.

Arraez is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.