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Astros, Marwin Gonzalez avoid arbitration

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The Astros and utilityman Marwin Gonzalez avoided arbitration on Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3.725 million for the 2017 season. Gonzalez had filed for $4.2 million and the team countered at $3.25 million, so they met right at the midpoint. The Astros also hold a club option for the 2018 season worth $5.125 million.

Gonzalez, who turns 28 years old next month, hit .254/.293/.401 with 13 home runs, 51 RBI, 55 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 518 plate appearances for the Astros last season. While he spent a majority of his playing time at first base, he also played third base, left field, second base, shortstop, and center field. Gonzalez is set for a utility role with the Astros in 2017.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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