Jason Castro launches walk-off homer as Astros complete sweep of Dodgers

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The Astros are making a habit out of this walk-off thing.

Jason Castro launched a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 10th inning this afternoon to give the Astros a 3-2 win over the Dodgers and complete a three-game sweep. It was their fourth walk-off win in their last eight games.

The Dodgers got a heck of an effort from Clayton Kershaw, who threw eight brilliant innings while allowing just one run and striking out 10 batters. However, Carlos Correa led off the bottom of the ninth with a single against closer Kenley Jansen and eventually stole second base before Marwin Gonzalez delivered a game-tying single with two outs. Castro ended things with a one-out homer against Chris Hatcher in the 10th, which was confirmed after replay review. You can watch the game-winning homer below.

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The Astros sit at 69-56 on the year, with a four-game lead over the Rangers in the American League West. The fading Angels are 5 1/2 games back. As for the 67-56 Dodgers, they have lost five straight and things are starting to look dicey. If the Giants win tonight, they’ll be just a half-game back in the NL West. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks are five games out.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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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.