Manny and Smoltz to go from rehab to pennant races

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Believe it or not, Manny Ramirez is eligible to come back and play for the Dodgers in just over two weeks. As such, L.A. is thinking about sending him to their Class A team in San Berdoo for a rehab assignment.

In other rehab news, John Smoltz pitched his last rehab assignment yesterday.
It wasn’t the best ever — a run on three hits, a walk and a wild
pitch, two strikeouts in four innings — but overall he’s been strong
pitching to kids: 27.1 innings, 18 hits, 21Ks, 4 walks and a 2.63 ERA.
He’s going to face the Nats next week, as the Red Sox adopt a six-man
rotation until they can unload Brad Penny or Dice-K implodes or
something.

The Red Sox are in first place. So are the Dodgers, who actually
have a bigger lead in the NL West today than they did when Ramirez was
suspended. For each of these teams, the return or debut of these guys
is the equivalent of making a trade for an All-Star caliber player at
the deadline, with the added bonus of not having to give anything up
for him.

It almost isn’t fair.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.

Video: Blue Jays walk off against the Athletics again, this time with a grand slam

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The Blue Jays completed a four-game series sweep against the Athletics on Thursday afternoon and won their second consecutive game in walk-off fashion. Last night, the Jays went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-0, but a two-run home run by Justin Smoak followed by a solo home run from Kendrys Morales led to a 3-2 walk-off victory.

Thursday’s game was already interesting enough as starter Marcus Stroman, catcher Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons were all ejected by home plate umpire Will Little. Despite the adversity, the Jays battled the A’s, tying the game at four apiece when Morales blasted a solo home run — his second of the game — in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the 10th inning, A’s reliever Liam Hendriks walked the bases loaded with two outs to bring up Steve Pearce. Pearce worked the count full before pulling a fastball down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Jays an 8-4 victory to complete the sweep.

Before Pearce, the last Jays hitter to hit a walk-off grand slam was Gregg Zaun on September 6, 2008 against the Rays, per SportsNet Stats.