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Stephen Drew acknowledges he may miss start of season


Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew had his 2011 season cut short in late July after suffering a fractured right ankle while sliding into home plate.

And he’s still battling the injury here in March.

According to beat man Steve Gilbert, Drew is “nowhere near the point in his recovery” where he is ready to appear in Cactus League games and could land on the 15-day disabled list when the 2012 regular season opens in early April.

“The doctor said it was going to be a year process, and now I’m at month seven,” Drew acknowledged Thursday in D’Backs camp. “Flexibility is back to normal. Now I just have to get the strength back. … The coaching staff has been really good. The training staff is really good. We’re taking it one day at a time and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

The 28-year-old had a .713 OPS, five homers and 45 RBI in 86 games last year before the ankle fracture. John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist would fill in at short in the early going if Drew is indeed unavailable.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.

Yankees to host AL Wild Card Game after Astros lose to D’Backs

Jacoby Ellsbury, Tony Pena
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Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.

The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.

The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.

The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.