Mark Hamburger suspended 50 games for drug of abuse

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Mark Hamburger, who was released by the Astros last week, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a “drug of abuse.”

Hamburger came up through the Twins’ farm system before being traded to the Rangers in mid-2008 for Eddie Guardado. He appeared in five games for the Rangers in 2011, but the right-handed reliever has bounced around since then and spent last season getting knocked around at Triple-A for three different teams.

A two-month suspension looming could make it tough for Hamburger to find a new organization at age 26.

Note: I’m going to let everyone make their own name-related jokes here, so don’t take my lack of an attempt as a sign I don’t recognize the endless possibilities.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.