Dan Johnson hits first three homers on season’s final day

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Sure, Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown. But that’s only because no one wanted to give Dan Johnson 550 at-bats.

Johnson hit his first three homers of the season for the White Sox in a 9-0 win over the Indians on Wednesday. He took David Huff deep in the second and fifth innings and then hit the second of back-to-back homers with Dayan Viciedo off Vinnie Pestano in the ninth.

Johnson had just 17 at-bats this season going into the night. He was in the starting lineup primarily because the White Sox didn’t want Adam Dunn to get two strikeouts and break Mark Reynolds’ single-season record of 223.

As you may remember, Johnson also came up big in last year’s season finale. Playing for the Rays, he hit a pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the ninth to send the game against the Yankees into extra innings. The Rays went on to win in 12 to overtake the Red Sox for the AL wild card.

In all, Johnson has 56 homers in 1,320 major league at-bats. The first 42 of those came with the A’s from 2005-07. After getting overtaken in Oakland’s plans, he briefly went to Japan, but didn’t find it to his liking. He’s mostly torn up Triple-A ever since. When he has played in the majors, he’s hit .184 with 12 homers and 40 walks in 217 at-bats over the last three years.

Johnson is 33 now and he’s not an exceptional first baseman, so it’s hard to say whether anyone will give him a real opportunity next spring. The White Sox don’t have room for him with Paul Konerko and Dunn under contract, so they’ll likely make him a free agent later this month.

Rangers activate Joey Gallo from injured list

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The Rangers announced on Tuesday that outfielder Joey Gallo was activated from the 10-day injured list. He’s in the lineup, batting fifth and playing center field against the Tigers.

Gallo, 25, went on the disabled list at the beginning of June due to a strained left oblique. He was in the midst of an All-Star-caliber campaign, batting .276/.421/.653 with 17 home runs and 41 RBI in 214 plate appearances.

On a similar note, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that Gallo wasn’t among those offered invitations to participate in the upcoming Home Run Derby. Gallo said of participating, “If I’m not invited, it makes the decision easy.”

It’s one thing for Gallo to not participate because he’s not interested; it’s another thing entirely if he’s not invited, however understandable given his injury. We are all worse off not being able to see Gallo crush dinger after dinger at Progressive Field next month.