Royals unsure when Callaspo will return to lineup

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Alberto Callaspo was scratched from Friday’s lineup against the Dodgers after he tweaked his right side on a swing during batting practice. He was out of the lineup again on Saturday and manager Trey Hillman told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that he isn’t sure when Callaspo will be able to return to game action.

“We’re going to get a better read (Sunday),” Hillman said. “It’s usually 24-48 (hours before you know). He came in feeling a lot better, and it wasn’t that bad (on Friday). We still think it’s going to be OK.”

The fear, according to Dutton, is that Callaspo suffered a strained oblique muscle, the type of injury that could sideline him for several weeks. Callaspo, who turned 27 in April, emerged as one of the most productive bats for the Royals last season, batting .300/.356/.457 with 11 homers and 73 RBI.

Josh Fields, who was acquired from the White Sox in the Mark Teahen in November, would likely open the season as the primary third baseman if Callaspo needs a stint on the disabled list. Alex Gordon, who broke his thumb earlier this month, is already expected to open the season on the DL.
 

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.