By Ron Kaplan, contributor

Crazy weekend for the boys.

How about Alex Bregman‘s game-winning “hit” on Saturday for the Houston Astros (8-2)?

Bregman’s single gave the team a 1-0 win in 10 innings. He had two of the Astros’ six hits, but they were his only ones in 13 at-bats from April 6-8 as Houston took two of three from the host San Diego Padres.

Richard Bleier picked up his second win of the year on Sunday as the Baltimore Orioles (4-6) overcame a first-inning, 5-0 lead by the host New York Yankees to take the contest in 12 innings, 8-7. Bleier tossed three shutout frames, giving up three hits, a walk, and striking out one. It was his longest outing since May 3, 2017. On Friday, Bleier earned his first hold of 2018 on the strength of 1.2 innings in which he allowed one hit and a walk in a 7-3 victory, giving the O’s three out of the four games in the Bronx.

Danny Valencia — serving as DH — hit his first home run of the year in Sunday’s win, cutting the Yankees lead to 5-4. It was his only hit in four at bats (he also walked), scoring twice. He came out of the game for a pinch-hitter in the 12th. He was 0-for-4 in Friday’s contest.

Kevin Pillar broke up a no-hit bid by the Texas Rangers’ Mike Minor’s on Friday with a one-out triple in the fifth. It was one of two hits Pillar had in 12 at-bats in the series for the Toronto Blue Jays (6-4), who took two of three from the host Rangers.

Ryan Braun continues to struggle early on for the Milwaukee Brewers (5-5). He managed just one single in 12 at bats (plus one walk), striking out six times from Friday to Monday against the visiting Chicago Cubs. The Brewers lost two of three over the weekend, adding to a Thursday loss to the Cubbies. Overall, Braun is just 5-for-32 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Joc Pederson has had minimal opportunities for the LA Dodgers (3-6). He sat out Friday’s game and had three plate appearances over the next two games, going 0-for-2 plus a walk.

Ian Kinsler is scheduled to come off the disabled list tomorrow (April 10) for the Los Angeles Angels (7-3), but the St. Louis Cardinals (4-5) put pitcher Ryan Sherriff on the DL. Sherriff was hit in the right foot in Thursday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and x-rays revealed a fracture. He had appeared in three games (2.2 innings) with an 0-0 record, allowing one run on two hits and two walks while striking out one. No timetable on his return.

On the bright side, the Reds today called up reliever Zack Weiss, who hopes to make his Major League debut shortly.

Gabe Kapler‘s Philadelphia Phillies (3-5) walloped the visiting Florida Marlins 20-1 on Saturday. That shut up his detractors for about five minutes; they’re already clamoring for his ouster. Kapler is handling it with grace.

Missed this one, but Nate Freiman announced his retirement about a month ago. According to, the 6’7″ first baseman “appeared in 116 big-league games over the course of his career, all coming with Oakland from 2013-14, when he slashed .256/.309/.408 with nine home runs and 39 RBI. The 31-year-old stated that he will be returning to Duke University this fall to pursue an MBA.” Zei gezunt, Nate.

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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