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MLB 2023 | Blanco with first big-league homer, Arozarena with HR No. 20, Abreu activated

Major League Baseball (MLB) and other Cuban Players News for the 2023 season. A compendium from several sources

Dairon Blanco (Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/TNS)

Aug 23

Dairon Blanco hit his first career homer on Wednesday in the Royals’ win over the Athletics.

Blanco went 1-for-2 with a solo home run in Wednesday's 4-0 win over the Athletics.

Blanco opened the scoring in the third inning Wednesday with a 414-foot homer off Adrian Martínez, the first of his Major League career. It's certainly a positive sign from the 30-year-old outfielder, who had just one extra-base hit in his previous 19 games. “I’m extremely proud and I’m really happy that it happened,” he said through an interpreter after the game. “Also, we got the win today and we all did good”, adding “As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going out. So, why not look at it?” Overall, Blanco is now slashing .247/.316/.438 with 14 RBI, 13 runs scored and 16 stolen bases across 99 plate appearances this season while typically serving as the Royals' fourth outfielder.

Randy Arozarena socks homer No. 20. Arozarena went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in Wednesday's 6-5 extra-inning win over the Rockies. The 28-year-old outfielder opened the scoring in the third inning by lofting an Austin Gomber changeup over the wall in left field. Arozarena was in a deep slump coming out of the All-Star break, but he could be flipping the switch as the playoff race heats up. Over his last 15 games, he's slashing .317/.423/.467, and five of his nine RBI over that stretch have come in the last three contests. Wednesday's long ball also gave him exactly 20 for the third straight season, and the Rays have 34 games left on the schedule for him to establish a new career high.

Astros activated José Abreu from the 10-day injured list.

Abreu, who was placed on the IL on Aug. 12 with back inflammation, returned to the Astros' lineup without the benefit of a rehab assignment, even though he was in a 3-for-35 slump before going on the IL and has been sub-replacement level over the course of the year. The Astros need him to start hitting badly now, but he hasn't provided much reason to be optimistic. On Wednesday's game he went 1-for-5 with a double, his RBI 57 of the year and a strikeout. Abreu has struggled to a .234/.291/.343 batting line in 464 total plate appearances overall this season.

Yandy Díaz went 2-for-4 with three RBI in Tampa Bay’s 6-5 extra innings win over the Rockies on Wednesday.

Díaz had just one hit and one RBI heading into the ninth inning when a one-out single off of Justin Lawrence drove in two runs to tie the game and send it to extra innings. The first baseman now has 65 RBI on the season while hitting .329/.406/.506 in a breakout campaign.

Yordan Álvarez was out of the Astros’ lineup for a second straight game on Wednesday due to left index finger soreness.

Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters he’s hopeful Álvarez will return to Houston’s lineup on Thursday. With the 26-year-old slugger absent, the Astros will have just one lefty, Kyle Tucker, in their lineup against Chris Sale. Yainer Díaz is starting at designated hitter on Wednesday night.

Yasmani Grandal received breather Wednesday. Grandal was out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Mariners. Grandal had been included in the lineup at either catcher or designated hitter in each of the last seven contests, going 4-for-25 with two walks, two runs and no RBI.

Yoán Moncada got rest day. Moncada was out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Mariners. Elvis Andrus will slide over from the middle infield to replace Moncada at third base.



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