The baseball notebook …
Andruw Jones is the proud owner of the best home run ratio in the American League.
Jones hit three home runs for the Dodgers last year. He hit three in one game for the Texas Rangers last week, against the Angels. He was averaging one home run per 11.9 at-bats through Friday; the only players with 150 at-bats and a better ratio are Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals and Raul Ibanez of the Philadelphia Phillies.
“All those years I was playing, that wasn’t a fluke,” Jones said.
Jones could hit 25 home runs for the 11th time in 12 years, last season’s Dodgers debacle excepted.
The Rangers have used Jones primarily against left-handers, but he will play against all comers now that platoon partner Hank Blalock has been moved to first base to replace the demoted Chris Davis, who struck out 114 times in 258 at-bats.
If Jones hits well in the second half, he could land another nice contract. Of the players eligible for free agency next fall, these are the only ones with more home runs: Blalock, Jason Bay, Russell Branyan and Johnny Damon.
CUBA DEFECTOR: Cuba has acknowledged the defection of pitcher Aroldis Chapman, a week after he walked away from a tournament in the Netherlands.
The Communist Party daily Granma said that Chapman has hired baseball agent Jaime Torres to represent him. Cuba previously had said nothing about Chapman’s defection, despite widespread media coverage in exile-dominated Miami.
The 21-year-old Chapman attracted widespread attention during the World Baseball Classic with a fastball touching 100 mph. He is considered among the top left-handed pitching prospects in the world, and the best pitcher to abandon Cuba since Jose Contreras left in 2002.-
ROCKIES: Left-handed reliever Alan Embree had surgery Saturday to repair a broken right leg, and the Colorado Rockies recalled right-handed reliever Matt Belisle from Triple-A Colorado Springs to fill Embree’s roster spot.
Embree, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list, was injured Friday night when he was struck by a line drive off the bat of the Atlanta Braves’ Martin Pardo in the seventh inning of a 4-1 loss.
TRADE: The Oakland Athletics acquired right-hander Justin Souza from the Seattle Mariners for infielder Jack Hannahan on Saturday.
Hannahan hit .193 with one homer and eight RBIs in 52 games with Oakland before being demoted to Triple-A Sacramento. Souza, 6-6 with a 3.35 ERA in 20 games with West Tenn, will join the Athletics’ Midland Double-A team.
STREAK OVER: High Desert’s Jamie McOwen had his hitting streak ended Friday night at 45 games, the eighth-longest run in minor league history.
The 2007 sixth-round draft pick had a hit in every game in which he played for Seattle’s Class A California League affiliate since May 10.
It was the minors’ longest streak since Waco’s Roman Mejias hit in 55 straight games in 1954.
EGG ON YOUR FACE: Teams seldom take batting practice Sunday, so spectators showing up early often find the field empty. The San Diego Padres announced last week they would serve fans breakfast on the field before Sunday games, a creative touch in a wretched season.
The Padres fell 20 games out of first place Friday, when they were no-hit by San Francisco’s Jonathan Sanchez.
The San Diego Union-Tribune described the breakfast promotion thusly: “Get egg on your face, in other words, before the players do.”