Chicago White Sox v Texas Rangers
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Bartolo Colon is winningest Latin American pitcher in MLB history

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Rangers right-hander Bartolo Colon was credited with his fifth win of the season on Saturday as the Rangers steamrolled the White Sox 13-4 for the series win. He held on through five innings, including a wobbly second inning that saw the White Sox climb to an early 2-0 lead, and finished the evening with two strikeouts and three runs on seven hits and two walks.

On any other day, Colon might have gotten the hook after his missteps in the second, but club manager Jeff Bannister recognized the unique milestone awaiting the veteran righty if the team pulled off a win.

“If he’s got an opportunity to put the ‘W’ behind his name, then [we’ll] make sure that he gets that,” Bannister told reporters after the game. “Obviously, we want to win every game we possibly can, but in situations like this, for him, and the overall history, and his impact on the game, and impact on himself, and just what it means for the game of baseball.”

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Rangers put on a hitting clinic, either. Joey Gallo put the team on the board with his 20th home run of the year, followed by a three-run double from Robinson Chirinos that gave them a 3-2 lead in the fifth. They continued to build on that lead with a Ryan Rua solo shot and Omar Narvaez throwing error in the fifth and seventh, respectively, culminating in a seven-run spread in the eighth that bumped them up to a cushy nine-run advantage.

With the win, Colon tied former MLB pitcher Dennis Martinez for the most pitcher wins by a Latin American player, with 245. It took him just 21 years to accomplish what Martinez did in 23, though he still has to notch another win to stand alone in that category. He should have plenty more opportunities to do so: The 45-year-old hurler is 5-5 in 15 starts with a 4.76 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 5.4 SO/9 through 92 2/3 innings in 2018 so far.

Hunter Pence is mashing for the Rangers

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Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.

Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.

Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.

What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.