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Hunter Pence makes Rangers Opening Day roster

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Back in early February the Rangers signed Hunter Pence to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Oftentimes when a big name on the back end of his career signs such a deal it, well, doesn’t turn out great and that spring training stint is the swan song of a nice career. That’s not the case with Pence, though. He has made the Rangers’ Opening Day roster.

Pence, 35, is batting .356 in 45 at bats with three homers, seven RBI, five doubles and six stolen bases in six attempts. And I suppose he picked the right team to do his spring thing with, because the Rangers have room for him. The current depth chart doesn’t have a better fourth outfielder option behind Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields.

Whether he sticks on the roster depends on whether this bounce back continues. Last year he played 97 games with the Giants, hitting a mere .226/.358/.332 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 248 plate appearances. Here’s hoping for a better 2019.

Nolan Arenado swats go-ahead homer for 1,000th career hit

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Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado entered Monday night’s game against the Nationals sitting on 997 hits for his career spanning seven seasons. Arenado hit an RBI double in the first inning, grounded out in the third, doubled again to lead off the fifth, then hit a solo homer to lead off the seventh, breaking a 5-5 tie. The homer, off of Wander Suero, represented the 1,000th career hit for Arenado.

Arenado now has four homers on the season along with 14 RBI, 15 runs scored, and a .281/.337/.483 batting line. He has recovered nicely after a slow start to the season — he had a .610 OPS following an 0-for-4 game against the Giants on April 13.