Randy Winn, Michael Young could reach postseason for first time

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The list of longest-serving active players without a playoff appearance appears due for a shakeup this year. Here are the leaders in regular-season games played without a postseason appearance:
1. Randy Winn (Cardinals) – 1,686 games
2. Michael Young (Rangers) – 1,473 games
3. Aubrey Huff (Giants) – 1,444 games
4. Mike Sweeney (Phillies) – 1,442 games
5. Adam Dunn (Nationals) – 1,415 games
6. Vernon Wells (Blue Jays) – 1,358 games
With the season three-quarters over, No. 2 looks like a lock to play into October and the rest of the top four have opportunities. Winn, Huff and Sweeney are all currently on second-place teams in the National League. The Phillies and Giants are practically tied for the wild card, and both the Phillies and Cardinals are still in pretty good position to win their divisions.
Of course, it’s doubtful that all four will make it and leave Dunn as the new top player on the list. But it’s not impossible.
Regardless, with eight teams reaching the postseason these days, it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to break Ernie Banks’ all-time record. In 19 seasons, he played in 2,528 games without ever appearing in the postseason. Next on the list are Luke Appling (2,422), Mickey Vernon (2,409) and Buddy Bell (2,405).

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.

Dodgers can clinch NL West on Friday

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The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.

Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.

The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.