By Ron Kaplan, contributor

Alex Bregman was 4-for-11 this past weekend with five runs scored, three RBIs, his 29th double, and 17th home run as the Houston Astros (61-31, first in the AL West) swept the visiting Chicago White Sox. The double and homer (sixth inning) came in Saturday’s 12-6 win.

Kevin Pillar — whose career is lovingly chronicled here — was just 2-for-10 as the Toronto Blue Jays (41-48, fourth in the AL East) dropped two of three to the visiting NY Yankees. One of those hits was his eighth home run, good for two to put his mates on the board in the second inning of an 8-5 loss on Saturday. He drove in another on a sacrifice fly.

Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers, 54-36, first in NL Central) was 1-for 4 in Friday’s 5-4 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves on Friday and struck out as a pinch-hitter on Saturday in a 5-1 loss. He did not appear yesterday in a Brewers win. That’s because the Brewers placed him on the 10-day DL with back issues.

And it almost seemed inevitable: the Braves (50-39, second in NL East) placed Max Fried on the 10-day disabled list with a blister.

Joc Pederson was 0-for-7 as a starter in the first two games for the LA Dodgers (48-41, second in NL West) and 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter yesterday when he “struck out” batting for Yasiel Puig, who had to come out in mid-at-bat because of an injury. So Pederson ended the appearance with one swing, but the strikeout was actually charged to Puig’s account. The Dodgers dropped two of three to the cross-town (sort of) LA Angels (46-45, fourth in the AL West).

Ian Kinsler was 2-for-9 with a run scored for the Angels.

Danny Valencia was 0-for-8 in starts on Saturday and Sunday for the Baltimore Orioles (23-55, last in the AL East). He didn’t appear in Friday’s game. All three games ended in losses to the host Minnesota Twins.

The San Diego Padres (39-53, last in the NL West) sent pitcher Robert Stock back to the minors.

And look who’s atop the NL East: Gabe Kapler’s Philadelphia Phillies. They took two out of three from the host Pittsburgh Pirates to improve to 49-38 after winning eight of their last 10.

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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