Giancarlo Stanton ends drought with 12th homer of 2018

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It’s no secret that Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton has gotten off to a rather slow start this spring. After leading the league in home runs (59) and RBI (132) in 2017, the hot-hitting outfielder entered Saturday’s game with just 11 home runs under his belt and a homer-less streak of 10 straight games.

That all changed by the third inning, however, when Stanton muscled a two-out, two-run homer off of Baltimore right-hander Kevin Gausman to boost the Yankees to a three-run lead. The ball itself received an enthusiastic reception in the right field bleachers after it crash-landed in the middle of an Orioles fan’s bachelorette party:

There was plenty of reason to celebrate on Stanton’s end, too. He went 2-for-4 with a homer, single and walk in the Yankees’ 8-5 win and may well be on his way to reclaiming the MVP-worthy .600+ OPS of years past, though it’ll take more than one well-placed home run to get him back atop the leaderboards at this point.

At any rate, the veteran outfielder won’t get a chance to prove his staying power this weekend. Sunday’s Yankees-Orioles finale was called off due to rain and will be made up during a doubleheader on August 25. The club is scheduled to play another makeup doubleheader in Detroit on Monday afternoon.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He 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 was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.