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Giancarlo Stanton to DH in Yankees’ do-or-die Game 5

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It’s win or stay home for the New York Yankees. It’s win and go home to host Game 1 of the World Series for the Houston Astros.

If the Yankees are to stay alive they’ll have to do, basically, everything better than they have for the past three games. They’ll need James Paxton to keep the Astros’ bats at bay. They’ll definitely have to field better than they did in last night’s ugly game. They’ll also have to remember how to smash the baseball, which is what helped them win 103 games on the year. To find that smash they’ve turned to a guy who hasn’t been around much in 2019: Giancarlo Stanton.

Stanton has not seen action since Game 1 of the ALCS and only played in 18 games all season long. He’s at DH tonight, however, and Edwin Encarnación is on the bench after going a 1-for-15 in the first four games of the series:

1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 1B
2. Aaron Judge (R) RF
3. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
4. Giancarlo Stanton (R) DH
5. Aaron Hicks (S) CF
6. Gary Sánchez (R) C
7. Didi Gregorius (L) SS
8. Gio Urshela (R) 3B
9. Brett Gardner (L) LF

The Astros will rely on Justin Verlander‘s mighty arm. And these mighty bats:

1. George Springer (R) RF
2. José Altuve (R) 2B
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
5. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
6. Carlos Correa (R) SS
7. Yordan Álvarez (L) DH
8. Robinson Chirinos (R) C
9. Jake Marisnick (R) CF

The game gets underway at 7:08 PM Eastern, broadcast on FS1. Be there or be square.

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.