Allen Craig departs game with left foot sprain

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Cardinals slugger Allen Craig hit a game-tying RBI single in the top of the fourth inning of Wednesday night’s tilt against the Reds, but he got tangled up a few feet beyond the first base bag with umpire Laz Diaz and planted awkwardly on his left ankle.

Craig was on the ground for a while — allowing the Reds to tag him out — and the initial worry was that he might have done something bad to his right knee, which had to be surgically repaired prior to the 2012 season. But replay of the injury clearly shows a left ankle tweak and Craig eventually walked over to the visitor’s dugout at Great American Ball Park under his own power. Matt Adams came on to fill in at first base in the bottom of the fourth.

Craig is hitting .315/.373/.457 with 13 homers and 97 RBI in 134 games this year. He’s likely day-to-day.

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UPDATE, 9:24 p.m. ET: Craig has been diagnosed with a left foot sprain. He’ll be reevaluated Thursday.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.