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Jonathan Villar hits for the cycle

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Orioles shortstop Jonathan Villar hit for the cycle on Monday night at home against the Yankees. He struck out in his first at-bat before hitting a triple followed by a double and a two-run home run. He singled to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning to complete the cycle.

Villar, 28, is the first Oriole to hit for the Cycle since Félix Pie on August 14, 2009 against the Angels. It’s the fifth cycle this season as Jorge Polanco, Shohei Ohtani, Jake Bauers, and Trea Turner have also accomplished the feat.

After his 4-for-5 effort in Monday’s 9-6 loss, Villar is batting .267/.331/.437 with 15 home runs, 51 RBI, 74 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases in 486 plate appearances. Not bad for a guy the Orioles got along with two other players from the Brewers in a trade just ahead of the deadline on July 31 last year.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.