Yankees send Ivan Nova to Triple-A to make room for Phil Hughes

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A four-game winning streak wasn’t enough to save Ivan Nova’s roster spot.

In spite of the rookie right-hander’s recent success, he was shipped back to Triple-A on Sunday, with reliever Lance Pendleton coming up to claim his spot.  Phil Hughes is expected to come off the DL on Wednesday to take over in the rotation.

Nova was coming off a win over the Mets on Friday in which he allowed one run in five innings.  The Yankees had won each of his last five starts, with the 24-year-old going 4-0 with a 3.41 ERA in the process.  For the season, Nova was 8-4 with a 4.12 ERA.

Still, unless the Yankees decided to suddenly reverse course and send Hughes to the pen, either Nova or Freddy Garcia had to go.  Were the Yankees forced to pick one of the two for the rest of the season, they probably would have chosen Nova.  But Garcia has pitched plenty well enough to stick around, having amassed a 3.28 ERA in 85 innings, and unlike Nova, he wasn’t going to be a phone call away in Triple-A if he had been jettisoned.

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

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ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.