Quick hits: Wang departs early

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– Chien-Ming Wang left Saturday’s start against the Blue Jays due to a sprained right shoulder.
While his line didn’t show it, Wang was in the midst of his best start
of the season, inducing 10 groundballs and throwing 45 of 66 pitches
for strikes. He is scheduled for an MRI later today.

Update: Wang is headed for the disabled list.

– Adam Dunn launched the 300th home run of his career in a comeback win over the Braves on Saturday afternoon. The slugger has 22 homers in 275 at-bats this season.

– The Rangers have promoted 22-year-old prospect Justin Smoak to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 2008 first-round pick was batting .328 with six homers and 28 RBI with Double-A Frisco. With Chris Davis continuing to struggle, Smoak could be on the fast track to the majors.

Oliver Perez will replace Tim Redding
in the Mets rotation. The erratic lefty threw just 46 of his 92 pitches
for strikes in a Friday rehab start with Triple-A Buffalo, but the Mets
hope he can deliver better results than the 6.99 ERA that Redding has
put up.

– Manny Ramirez homered in his first at-bat
on Saturday against the Padres — in his second game back from serving
a 50-game suspension. Speaking of performance-enhancing drugs, Rafael
Palmeiro continues to deny knowingly taking them. Meanwhile, Roger Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin revealed that the pitcher is not among the 104 players who tested positive for PEDs in 2003.

Watch: Ryan Goins tags Todd Frazier with the hidden ball trick

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The Yankees are facing a convoluted path to the postseason, and they didn’t do themselves any favors after Todd Frazier fell for Ryan Goins‘ hidden ball trick in the third inning of Friday’s series opener. With one out and Frazier on second base, Jacoby Ellsbury skied a deep fly ball to right field, where it was caught by Jose Bautista just shy of the warning track and tossed back to Goins at second. Goins faked the throw to Marco Estrada, then sneakily (or not so sneakily, depending on your vantage point) gloved the ball and caught Frazier off the bag for the third out.

Of course, it helped that Frazier’s back was turned during the throw, so Goins’ fake-out may not have been as obvious as it was when the Yankees reviewed the tape several minutes later.

Goins earned another spot on the highlight reel in the sixth inning, mashing his second grand slam of the season while Frazier — and the rest of the Yankees’ offense, sans one home-run-record-slaying Aaron Judge — scrambled to catch up. The Yankees currently trail the Blue Jays 8-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, and will need to pull off a comeback (and hope the Astros and Athletics clinch their respective games) before they can lay claim to a playoff spot.

Blue Jays shut down Steve Pearce for the rest of 2017

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The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.

Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.

With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.