Nationals get last laugh as Joel Peralta takes loss while appealing suspension

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Yesterday afternoon MLB handed down an eight-game suspension to Joel Peralta for having pine tar on his glove, but the Rays reliever appealed and was available to pitch last night against the Nationals and the manager who ratted him out to umpires, Davey Johnson.

And sure enough manager Joe Maddon brought Peralta into the sixth inning of a tie game in relief of starter Matt Moore.

Peralta got the first two outs, but then gave up a double to Jesus Flores, intentionally walked Adam LaRoche, and gave up another double to Danny Espinosa that scored two runs. He ended up taking the loss in a 5-2 defeat, falling to 0-3 with a 4.20 ERA on the season.

So the Nationals get the last laugh and take two of three games in the interleague series, although the Rays did win the actual game in which Peralta was ejected Tuesday night. And remarkably Maddon and Johnson managed to avoid throwing any more fire on their public war of words.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.