Conor Jackson retires from baseball at age 30

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Conor Jackson was the 19th overall pick in 2003, soared through the Diamondbacks’ farm system, and posted a promising .292/.371/.451 batting line in 414 major league games between the 2006 and 2008 seasons. But he came down with Valley Fever in early 2009, never completely recovered, and has now officially announced his retirement from baseball at the age of 31 according to MASN’s Roch Kubatko.

Jackson signed a minor league contract with the Orioles this spring but he failed to crack their Opening Day roster and was sporting a weak .200/.333/.240 slash line through 30 plate appearances at Triple-A Norfolk.

Jackson, who turns 31 years old next month, will finish up with 591 career major league hits.

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.