By Ron Kaplan, contributor

Kevin Pillar was 0-for-5 on Friday, striking out twice as the Toronto Blue Jays (23-27) held off the visiting Texas Rangers, 7-6. The Rangers scored three in the top of the ninth to make things interesting. On Saturday, Pillar was 0-for-4 with another strikeout in a 3-1 win.  He doubled and scored the Jays’ only run in the first inning of a 3-1 loss on Sunday. Although the Jays are last in the AL East, 7.5 games out of first place, things have improved dramatically: Toronto is 15-10 in May after going 8-17 in April.

Danny Valencia was 1-for-4 and grounded into a double play in the Seattle Mariners’ 3-0 loss to the host Boston Red Sox on Friday. He repeated the feat on Saturday, this time in a 6-0 loss. And Sunday ended in another shutout, a 5-0 Mariners win. Valencia was 1-for-4 in that one. The Mariners are last in the AL West with a record of 22-29.

Alex Bregman struck out twice in three trips to the plate on Friday as the Houston Astros were shut out by the visiting Baltimore Orioles, 2-0. He singled and scored a run on Saturday in a 5-2 win. He did not play in Sunday’s finale, an 8-4 Astros win. Houston leads the AL West with the best record in the majors, 35-16.

Richard Bleier pitched a perfect inning for the Orioles (25-23, third in the AL East) on Saturday, his only appearance for the weekend.

Craig Breslow pitched another perfect inning on Friday as the Minnesota Twins (26-20, first in the AL Central) fell to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, 5-2. He gave up two hits in 1.2 scoreless innings yesterday in an 8-6, 15-inning loss. At 6 hours and 26 minutes, it was the longest MLB game of the season so far.

Scott Feldman made one mistake in his start yesterday for the Cincinnati Reds: a three-run homer as part of a four-run inning. Otherwise he pitched well enough to secure an 8-4 win over the host Philadelphia Phillies. Feldman pitched five frames, giving up eight hits and no walks, striking out four and hitting a batter to even his record at 4-4. The Reds are fourth in the NL Central at 24-25.

Ian Kinsler walked as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of an 8-2 loss to the host Chicago White Sox in the first game of what was supposed to be a doubleheader. The second game was postponed by rain. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Saturday’s games because of a balky hamstring. The Tigers are 23-27, fourth in the AL Central

Joc Pederson and Ryan Braun are on the concussion and regular DLs, respectively, for the LA Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee leads the NL Central — surprisingly — with a 27-20 mark. The Dodgers are 31-20, second in the NL West.

Finally — just for fun — here’s something you don’t see every day (although you would never know it by the unimpressed announcing.

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 the forthcoming Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

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