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Merrifield went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI in Thursday's loss against the Rays. After Teoscar Hernandez led off the second inning with a homer, Merrifield came up two batters later and crushed a solo shot of his own to tie the game at 3-3. The second baseman then crushed a two-run homer in the ninth, though the game had already gotten away from the Blue Jays by that point. Merrifield hasn't gotten a whole lot of playing time recently, though he is 5-for-14 (.357) in his last 16 plate appearances with two homers, five RBI, and four runs scored while also drawing two walks in that span.
Payton was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte and is starting Saturday against the Tigers. Payton had a brief stint with the major-league club in early September and drew a walk and scored a run during his lone game. However, he'll rejoin the White Sox since Luis Robert (wrist) is out for the season. Payton is starting in left field and batting eighth Saturday against Detroit.
Diaz (shoulder) isn't starting Saturday against the Blue Jays, Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio Network reports. Diaz recently received a cortisone shot to help in his recovery from left shoulder soreness, and he'll be held out of the lineup for a fifth consecutive game. Jonathan Aranda will start at the hot corner and lead off.
Stout was placed on the 15-day injured list with lower back discomfort Thursday, Kevin Gorman of TribLive.com reports. Stout was hit hard during Wednesday's relief appearance against the Yankees, allowing four runs on three hits and a walk while striking out one in one inning. It's possible that the southpaw's back injury contributed to his struggles, and he'll be forced to miss the remainder of the year after landing on the IL. Over 20 relief appearances between the Cubs and Pirates this year, Stout posted a 5.64 ERA and 1.84 WHIP in 22.1 innings.
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Tovar will start at shortstop and bat eighth Friday against the Padres, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports. The 21-year-old was added to Colorado's active roster Thursday and will make his big-league debut a day later. Tovar posted a .921 OPS with 14 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 71 games between the Double-A and Triple-A levels this season, and he should see regular playing time down the stretch as the Rockies take a look at their top prospect.
Veteran DT Ndamukong Suh draws interest from several teams, wants to sign with contender, per report
Five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has not yet signed with an NFL team for the 2022 season, but he reportedly has some options. According to Heavy.com, there are approximately three to five teams that have expressed interest in Suh -- who reportedly wants to play for a contender.
Senzel (toe) was transferred to the 60-day injured list Friday. The 27-year-old was ruled out for the season with a broken toe earlier this week, so it's not a surprise to see him moved to the 60-day IL in order to free up a spot on the 40-man roster. Senzel had a .231/.296/.306 slash line with five home runs, 25 RBI, 45 runs and eight stolen bases in 110 games this season, and he isn't guaranteed to open 2023 in a starting role.
Polanco is still feeling issues with his left knee and may not return this season, Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com reports. Polanco hasn't played in nearly a month due to left knee inflammation. Given that the Twins have endured a late-season collapse and are out of the playoff picture, there's now little reason to rush Polanco back if he's anything short of 100 percent.
Kimbrel was removed from the Dodgers' closer role Friday, Matthew Moreno of DodgerBlue.com reports. The decision comes after Kimbrel allowed at least one run in three of his last four games. That followed a stretch in which he allowed just one hit across nine scoreless appearances, but his 6:3 K:BB in those outings was far from convincing. The veteran now owns a 4.14 ERA on the season and has struck out a modest 27.2 percent of opposing batters, well below his career mark of 40.0 percent. A committee approach to the ninth inning appears to be the plan for now in Los Angeles, with Chris Martin, Evan Phillips and Brusdar Graterol among the leading candidates.
Springs allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk while striking out six across five innings Friday against the Blue Jays. He did not factor into the decision. Springs held Toronto scoreless through four innings, but he allowed a pair of doubles and singles in the fifth inning to account for all of the runs against him. He managed 11 swinging strikes on only 83 total pitches and now has at least six strikeouts in five of his last seven starts. Springs has an impressive 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and a 136:30 K:BB across 126.1 frames on the campaign.
Yankees-Red Sox not on TV? Why Aaron Judge's pursuit of history won't have traditional broadcast on Friday
The Yankees head into the weekend with a comfortable lead in the AL East. Their magic number for the division is in single digits, and they just clinched a playoff spot on Thursday night. More significantly, right now for general fan interest, would be superstar outfielder Aaron Judge sitting on the verge of home-run history. Friday, the Yankees continue a series against their biggest rival, the Boston Red Sox. But fans won't be able to find it on a traditional television broadcast.
Chavis isn't in the lineup Thursday against the Cubs, Kevin Gorman of TribLive.com reports. Chavis has gone 0-for-12 with four strikeouts over the last four games, and he'll head to the bench for the third time in the last four matchups. Zack Collins is starting at first base and batting eighth.
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Arozarena went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI, two runs scored, one walk and one steal in Thursday's 10-5 victory over Toronto. Arozarena drove home Manuel Margot with a double to deep right in the first inning before stealing third and coming around to score himself on a wild pitch from Jose Berrios. The left fielder knocked in Margot again with a single in the second inning and went on to reach base four times in the game. Arozarena has recorded three multi-hit games in his last five contests, with three RBI and three runs scored over that span.
Azocar isn't starting Saturday against the Rockies. Azocar is on the bench for the second time in the last three games after he went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout Friday. He's recorded hits in each of his last eight games, but Trent Grisham will start in center field and bat eighth Saturday.
A Delaware County man is crediting the Philadelphia Phillies' dollar dog night promotion with leading him to a cancer diagnosis that ultimately saved his life, according to a report by Fox29 Philadelphia. The popular promotion helped Phillies fan Bill Finn discover that he had stage-4 Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that begins in white blood cells.
Walker (12-5) allowed four earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three across six innings to take the loss Wednesday against the Brewers. Walker allowed only a solo home run through six innings, though he allowed the first three batters he faced in the seventh frame to reach base. After he was pulled, Drew Smith entered and served up a grand slam that soured Walker's line. Entering Wednesday's outing, Walker had allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his last seven starts -- good for a 3.35 ERA. For the season, he now owns a 3.53 ERA with a 114:43 K:BB across 148 innings.
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Nimmo isn't starting Saturday against the Athletics, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Nimmo returned to the lineup Friday against Oakland and went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run. He'll get a breather while Mark Canha starts in center field and bats second.
Hayes will sit for the third straight game Saturday against the Cubs. Hayes doesn't seem to be dealing with an injury, but it's unusual to see him stuck on the bench. He hasn't been completely shut down, as he appeared off the bench in Thursday's series opener. Perhaps the Pirates simply wanted to avoid overtaxing the 25-year-old at the end of an uncompetitive season. Rodolfo Castro will get the start at third base.
Cousins was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Friday. Cousins was called up by the Brewers on Monday and struck out five in 3.1 scoreless innings over three appearances following his promotion. However, he'll head back to the minors after Eric Lauer (elbow) was reinstated from the 15-day injured list prior to Friday's start against Cincinnati.
Ramirez isn't starting Thursday against the Blue Jays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Ramirez started the last five games and went 4-for-20 with two doubles and five strikeouts. Ji-Man Choi will take over at first base and bat eighth Thursday.