Rangers' Hamilton, Cruz expected to return

The Rangers lost two out of three to the Phils over the weekend, but they're about to get well soon: Outfielders Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz are expected to be off the disabled list in time for Monday's home game against the White Sox. Just in time, too, as the Rangers are tied with the Angels for first in the AL West, and both are being chased by the suddenly relevant Oakland Athletics.

Hamilton, last year's American League MVP, has been out since he broke his right arm diving into home plate on April 12. Cruz had seven homers and 18 RBIs before going down May 4 with a strained right quadriceps muscle.

Bautista joins a club whose members are clubbers

Despite going 0 for 4 Sunday against the Houston Astros, there is still a glow around Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, who hit two home runs Saturday to increase his total to 18, tops in the majors. Major League Baseball, in another example of those inexplicable statistics it likes to highlight, pointed out that his 18 home runs in his team's first 45 games tied him with 12 others for the 17th most since 1919.

The leader in this obscure stat is Barry Bonds, who had a 24 homers through the Giants' first 45 games in 2001.

Still, Bautista joined some elite company in clubbing exactly 18 homers through his team's 45 games, including Jimmie Foxx, who did it in 1938, and finished with 50 homers that season. Mike Schmidt, in 1980, finished with 48, and Alex Rodriguez, in 2007, finished with 54.

Orioles give Simon a chance

The cellar-dwelling Orioles need help, so maybe they can be excused of reinstating righthanded reliever Alfredo Simon.

Never mind that the righthander has been accused in Luperon, Dominican Republic, with killing Michel Castillo Almonte, 25, and wounding his 17-year-old brother during a New Year's Eve celebration there. Never mind that he spent about two months in jail in connection with the shooting and faces trial on involuntary homicide charges.

The Orioles need help, and Simon, 30, was 4-2 with 17 saves and a 4.93 ERA in 49 games for them last season.

Contact staff writer Francisco Delgado at fdelgado@phillynews.com.
This article contains information from Inquirer wire services.