Umpire Laz Diaz had a split second to react and get out of the way of a screaming Drew Butera line drive during the bottom of the fifth inning of Sunday’s game between the Orioles and Royals. Thankfully, Diaz succeeded and was able to spin himself to safety, though it involved taking a seat in the dirt behind third base.
The effort earned Diaz a round of applause and a helping hand from Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele.
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.
Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.
With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.
Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.
The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.
The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.