After a historic May, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been a little quiet so far this month. No longer. Check out this solo blast off Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel this afternoon.
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Harper now leads the majors with 19 home runs. Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton are both sitting on 18 coming into Saturday’s action.
Hammel was pulled after Harper’s homer, but the Cubs hung on to beat the Nationals 4-2.
The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.
Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.
Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.