Things are getting pretty interesting in the American League West.
Garrett Richards dominated while Kole Calhoun carried the load for the offense as the Angels beat the Rangers 5-4 last night at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Meanwhile, the Athletics lost to the Braves, so the Angels are now just one game back in the division.
Richards allowed two runs over 7 1/3 innings for his 13th victory of the season. He struck out seven batters and walked none. Calhoun had three hits on the night, the big blow of which was a long go-ahead three-run homer off Nick Martinez in the fifth inning. You can watch video of the blast here.
The Angels will play the Athletics for three in Oakland next week before meeting again for three in Anaheim one week later. The fun is just getting started.
Your Friday box scores:
Angels 5, Rangers 4
Athletics 2, Braves 7
Orioles 1, Indians 2 (11 innings)
Pirates 4, Nationals 5
Mariners 7, Tigers 2
Cubs 2, Mets 3
Astros 5, Red Sox 3 (10 innings)
Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 2
Yankees 0, Rays 5
Padres 2, Cardinals 4
Reds 3, Rockies 2
Blue Jays 5, White Sox 11
Brewers 6, Dodgers 3
Royals 6, Twins 5
Phillies 5, Giants 3 (10 innings)
The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.
Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.
The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.
In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.