Jacoby Ellsbury out of lineup after being hit by pitch in back

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Jacoby Ellsbury is out of tonight’s lineup against the Royals after he was hit in the back by a pitch in the top of the eighth inning last night. He stayed in the game to run the bases and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez, but was replaced in center field in the bottom-half of the inning.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Ellsbury underwent an MRI which ruled out any structural damage. The American League MVP candidate is considered day-to-day with a contusion.

Ellsbury, 27, is batting .313/.370/.517 with 22 homers, 79 RBI and an .887 OPS over 560 plate appearances this season. He ranks third in the American League with 33 stolen bases, third with 89 runs scored and is tied for third with 158 hits.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.