By Ron Kaplan, contributor

Ian Kinsler returned to the lineup for the Boston Red Sox (88-37, first in the AL East with the best record in baseball), going 0-for-6 with a walk and an RBI as his team took two of three from the visiting Tampa Bay Rays.

Alex Bregman was 4-for-13 including his 23rd and 24th home runs, three RBIs and three walks, but the Houston Astros dropped two of three to the hard-charging Oakland A’s. Prior to #23, Bregman hadn’t hit a long ball in 19 days, leading arched eyebrows over the Home Run Derby “curse.” The Astros are 75-49, in first place in the AL West by one game over the A’s, having lost seven of their last nine games.

Ryan Braun struck out as a pinch hitter on Friday and was 0-for-3 yesterday after sitting out Saturday’s contest as the Milwaukee Brewers (69-57, second in the NL Central by 3.5 games) dropped two of three to the host St. Louis Cardinals.

Kevin Pillar was 4-for-12 with his 32nd double, a run scored, and two RBIs as the Toronto Blue Jays (55-69, fourth in the AL East) were swept by the host NY Yankees. He took some heat from his manager John Gibbons following an ill-timed and unsuccessful stolen base attempt in Saturday’s loss.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-9 with two walks and a run scored as the LA Dodgers (67-58, third in the NL West) took two of three from the visiting Seattle Mariners.

In his only appearance of the weekend, Robert Stock struck out three, walked one, and allowed a hit in 1.1 innings on Friday for the San Diego Padres (49-78, fifth in the NL West) in their 9-4 loss to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. Check out this link for an emotional radio interview.

Max Fried looked a little rusty in his rehab start for the Gwinnett Stripers (AAA) on Friday. He gave up three runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 4.1 innings in what was ultimately an 8-0 loss to the Buffalo Bisons. He’s scheduled to make one more rehab start before a possible return to the Atlanta Braves.

The visiting NY Mets took two of three contests against “fascinatingGabe Kapler’s Philadelphia Phillies (68-56, second in the NL East by a half game) following a doubleheader split on Aug. 16.

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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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