By Ron Kaplan, contributor

Not quite the fireworks we had last weekend

One of the very few bright spots for the Baltimore Orioles, Richard Bleier, is probably done for the year, the victim of a lat strain he suffered June 13. Here’s wishing him well.

But the show must go one. The O’s — with the worst record in the Majors at 20-50 (fifth/last in the AL East) — lost two of three to the visiting Miami Marlins. Danny Valencia was 0-for-3 in Friday’s 2-0 loss; had two singles and an RBI in four at-bats in Saturday’s 5-4 loss; and did not appear in Sunday’s 10-4 win.

Kevin Pillar was hitless in the first two games as the Toronto Blue Jays (33-38, fourth in the AL East) hosted the Washington Nationals. But he had two hits, including his 23rd double, plus a run scored, an RBI, and his 10th stolen base in yesterday’s 6-5 win over the former Montreal Expos to complete a three-game sweep.

Ryan Braun was 0-for-4 on Friday as the host Milwaukee Brewers (42-29, first in the NL Central) beat up on Gabe Kapler’s Philadelphia Phillies (37-32, third in the NL East), 13-5. He had two singles in four AB’s in Saturday’s 4-1 loss, plus the 200th stolen base of his career, making him the 24th player in MLB history with 300+ HRs and 200+ RBIs. Braun was o-for-2 Sunday as the Brewer’s dropped the rubber game, 10-9, coming up one run short when they scored four in the bottom of the ninth. Braun came on as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and struck out. He remained in the game and fanned the following inning. This article on cites Braun as “the Brewers’ unluckiest hitter” this season.

Joc Pederson — whose June success might be attributed in part to a stance adjustment — was 0-for-3 out of the leadoff spot for the LA Dodgers in a 4-1 loss to the visiting San Francisco Giants on Sunday, their only loss in the three-game series. Pederson appeared in the other two games as a defensive replacement. The Dodgers have quietly moved into second place in the NL West with a record of 37-33.

Ian Kinsler hit home run #9 on Friday, a solo shot in the fourth to help the LA Angels (38-34, third in the AL West) beat the host Oakland As, 8-4. After going hitless in four at-bats in Saturday’s 6-4 loss, he had a single and his 13th double in a 6-5, 11-inning loss yesterday.

Alex Bregman gets MOT of the Weekend honors. He was 5-for-13 including a double and two home runs (a solo shot on Friday and a three-run blast in the ninth on Saturday), making him the first JML to reach double figures in that category. He collected five RBIs and scored five runs in the three games as the Houston Astros swept the host KC Royals, extending their winning streak to 11 games. The ‘Stros have the best record in the Majors with a mark of 48-25 and lead the AL West.

season stats

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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