Edinson Volquez is on the comeback trail

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Edinson Volquez.jpgEdinson Volquez, who is currently working his way back from Tommy John surgery last August, threw 60 pitches at Great American Ballpark on Friday, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“He looked great,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He threw
all his pitches. He really looked good.”

While he is on the disabled list, Volquez is concurrently serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Though he is not being paid, Volquez is allowed to go out on a minor league rehab assignment during the suspension, which ends on June 13. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said Volquez is “probably” a few weeks away from that.

In the meantime, Volquez is scheduled begin pitching in extended spring training games in Arizona. The Reds hope to have him back sometime after the All-Star break, whether in late July or early August. It’s hard to expect much from him, but similar to what Tim Hudson did for the Braves last season, Volquez could provide a nice late-season boost if the Reds manage to stay in the race.

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.