Derek Dietrich homers three times vs. Pirates

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On Monday, Reds utilityman Derek Dietrich hit a long solo home run off of Pirates reliever Alex McRae. Dietrich admired his work and took a slow trot around the bases. Some thought the Pirates might try to throw at Dietrich on Tuesday to punish him for his transgression. They did not.

Dietrich one-upped himself, blasting three two-run home runs on Tuesday. The first came in the fourth inning off of Jordan Lyles, increasing the Reds’ lead to 3-0. Dietrich went yard again in the fifth against Geoff Hartlieb, boosting the Reds’ advantage to 6-0. Dietrich made it three in the seventh, victimizing Hartlieb once more to make it a 10-0 game. The Reds eventually won, 11-6.

After his three blasts, Dietrich is now hitting .254/.364/.720 with 17 home runs, 35 RBI, and 24 runs scored in 140 plate appearances on the season. The Marlins designated him for assignment in a cost-cutting move back in November and he went unsigned late into February. The Reds snagged him on a minor league contract. Dietrich was one of many talented, established players who couldn’t find guaranteed major league contracts for some reason.

Dietrich’s three-homer game is the sixth this season, as Kris Bryant, Justin Turner, Christian Yelich, Gary Sánchez, and Paul Goldschmidt have also accomplished the feat. Scooter Gennett was the last member of the Reds to have a three-homer night, blasting four round-trippers on June 6, 2017 against the Cardinals.

The last-place Reds, at 25-29 and only six games out of first place in the NL Central entering Tuesday’s action, may not be sellers if things keep going the way they have been. If the Reds do lose ground in the division, Dietrich — a potential All-Star — could be a hot commodity ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. At the very least, Dietrich has likely played his way into a guaranteed contract this coming offseason.

Kinsler back with Rangers as special assistant to GM Young

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Former Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler returned to the team as a special assistant to general manager Chris Young, his teammate in the organization’s minor league system nearly two decades ago.

Young said that Kinsler, who was part of the franchise’s only two World Series teams in 2010 and 2011, will be heavily involved in player development and providing mentorship to both players and staff.

Kinsler, a four-time All-Star, was part of a World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, a year before his retirement. Kinsler played 14 seasons in the major leagues and spent the last three years in the front office of the San Diego Padres as a special assistant in baseball operations and player development. The 40-year-old has been living in the Dallas area, as he did throughout his playing career.

Kinsler played for the U.S. in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and Israel in last summer’s Olympics, and he will manage Israel in next month’s WBC.

Young and Kinsler were teammates for several weeks at Double-A Frisco in the summer of 2004, the same year the pitcher made his big league debut. They were in big league spring training together in 2005, then Young was traded after that season.

A 17th-round draft pick by Texas in 2003, Kinsler played 1,066 games for the Rangers from 2006-13, hitting .273 with 156 homers, 539 RBIs and 172 stolen bases. He hit .311 with a .422 on-base percentage in 34 postseason games. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame last summer.

Kinsler hit .269 with 257 homers, 909 RBIs and 243 stolen bases in 1,888 career games overall with Texas, Detroit (2014-17), the Los Angeles Angels (2018), Boston (2018), and San Diego (2019). He is one of only two MLB second baseman with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in multiple seasons, and had the only six-hit cycle in a nine-inning game since 1900 on April 15, 2009.