By Ron Kaplan, contributor

Alex Bregman gets MOT of the Weekend honors. He had six hits in 13 at-bats plus two walks. Bregman had one double, scored twice, and drove in a pair as the Houston Astros (16-7, first in the AL West) swept the host Chicago White Sox — outscoring their opponents 27-2 — and extended their winning streak to six games. Bregman has a five-game hitting streak.

Following his pinch-hit home run on Thursday, Ryan Braun followed up with another the next day to help the Milwaukee Brewers (14-9, second in the NL Central) beat the visiting Florida Marlins, 8-0. His fourth homer of the year came with a man on in the fourth to give his team a 4-0 lead.

Braun also singled in that game. The following night, he was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. He went hitless in four at-bats on Saturday as Milwaukee completed a three-game sweep.

Kevin Pillar was 2-for-11 from Saturday through Sunday as the Toronto Blue Jays (13-8, second in AL East) lost two of three to the host NY Yankees. Pillar struck out five times, walked once, and stole his fourth base of the year.

Ian Kinsler was 2-for-12 with a run scored as the LA Angels (14-8, second in AL West) dropped two of three to the visiting San Francisco Giants.

Joc Pederson started each game in the weekend series for the LA Dodgers (10-10, third in NL West). He was 0-for-2 on Friday with a walk in a 5-2 loss to the visiting Washington Nationals. The next day, Pederson was 2-for-4 with his first home run of the year, a solo shot to dead center off National’s ace Stephen Strasburg to start off the scoring in the Dodgers’ 4-0 win. It was especially sweet because it came on Pederson’s 26th birthday!

Richard Bleier earned his third hold on Friday, allowing two hits, a walk, and a strikeout in two innings as the Baltimore Orioles (6-16, fifth in the AL East) beat the visiting Cleveland Indians, 3-1. It was his only appearance for the weekend.

Danny Valencia grounded out as a pinch-hitter yesterday, his only appearance in the three-game set of which the Indians won two.

Ryan Sherriff remains on the disabled list for the St. Louis Cardinals (13-8, first in NL Central). The second-year reliever is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment next week.

Gabe Kapler’s Philadelphia Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates to improve to 14-7, second in the AL East. Can he keep his players happy?

Remember Ryan Kalish fondly: he announced his retirement at the age of 30 due to chronic knee problems. HT to Bob Wechsler, author of the The Jewish Baseball Card Book and Day by Day in Jewish Sports History, who reported:

Outfielder Ryan Kalish has retired, Peter Gammons tweets. Kalish, who played the final game of his career on Friday with New Britain of the independent Atlantic League, is stepping away because of knee issues, per Gammons. Now 30, Kalish was once a promising prospect with the Red Sox, who grabbed him in the ninth round of the 2006 draft. Injuries were problematic throughout Kalish’s career, though, which helps to explain why he only amassed 422 major league plate appearances between the BoSox and Cubs. Kalish was a .245/.297/.349 hitter with four homers and 16 stolen bases in the majors.

Craig Breslow, on the other hand, just keeps going and going and…

Ron Kaplan (@RonKaplanNJ) hosts Kaplan’s Korner, a blog about Jews and sports. He is the author of three books, including The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games and Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

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