Jose Tabata carted off Sunday, Alex Presley on the way

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The Pirates could have a new-look outfield when they open an interleague series Tuesday in Toronto.

Bucs left fielder Jose Tabata had to be wheeled off on a cart in the bottom of the first inning Sunday after suffering a serious left quadriceps injury while legging out a bunt single. Garrett Jones entered the game as a pinch-runner and took over in right field in the second inning as Matt Diaz shifted to left.

The Pirates are trying for a surprising three-game sweep of the formerly red-hot Red Sox.

If the injury is as bad as it looked and Tabata needs to be placed on the disabled list, prospect Alex Presley could become Pittsburgh’s new starting left fielder. A 25-year-old from Monroe, Louisiana, Presley has posted a sparkling .336/.389/.500 batting line with eight home runs, 36 RBI and 18 stolen bases in 75 games this season for Triple-A Indianapolis. He was pulled from the lineup at Triple-A on Sunday, soon after news of Tabata’s injury made its way to Indy.

The Pirates entered Sunday’s play with a 39-37 record, three games back in the National League Central.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.