By Ron Kaplan, contributor

Alex Bregman, Houston Astros (73-46, first in the AL West), was 2-for-4 with his 37th double and one of the two runs his team scored in a 5-2 loss to the visiting Seattle Mariners on Friday. The next day he was 1-for-3 with a walk in a 3-2 loss. On Sunday, Bregman — who participated in this meet and greet —  singled twice and walked in four official at-bats, scored one run and drove in another as the Mariners completed a series sweep that began on Thursday. Houston’s lead over the Seattle is down to 2.5 games.

Joc Pederson, LA Dodgers (64-55, second in the NL West), was 0-for-5 on Friday in a 5-4 loss and 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter in a 4-3 loss on Sunday to the host Colorado Rockies. He did not play on Saturday.

Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers (67-54, second in NL Central), did not play in Friday’s 10-1 loss to the host Atlanta Braves. He was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI the next day in a 4-2 win and made this catch, which the announcer opined might be the best of Braun’s career (note the “catch probability” stat). He was 2-for-5 with a double (#18) on Sunday in an 8-7 loss.

Kevin Pillar, Toronto Blue Jays (53-64, fourth in AL East), was 0-for-3 in a 7-0 loss to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays on Friday; 0-for-3 in a 3-1 loss on Saturday; and had a pinch-hit double (#29) and scored what proved to the the deciding run  — upheld upon review — in a 2-1 win on Sunday. He was unsuccessful in a subsequent at bat.

Robert Stock, San Diego Padres  (48-72, fifth in NL West), gave up two hits and struck out four in 2.2 shutout innings on Saturday in a 5-1 loss to Gabe Kapler’s Philadelphia Phillies (65-52, tied for first NL East). He also tossed a pitch 100.3-mph, fastest for a Padre since 2016. (Click here to see him pitch 99-mph, 99-mph and 100-mph to one batter.)

Ian Kinsler remains on the DL for the Boston Red Sox. Likewise for Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves. Not mentioning the other two MOTs who are out for the rest of the year. Oh, all right: Richard Bleier (Baltimore Orioles) and Ryan Sherriff (St. Louis Cardinals).

Finally, the Orioles designated utility man Danny Valencia for assignment on Sunday. He had nine hone runs and 28 RBIs in 282 plate appearances over 78 games, during which time he played third base, right field, first base, designated hitter, and even had a turn on the mound. If Valencia  gets picked up, he could be playing for his eighth team in nine seasons. What does that say about him? That no team wants to hold on to him for an extended period, or that so many want him?

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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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