NLCS, Game 2: Dodgers-Cardinals lineups

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Lineups for Game 2 of the NLCS in St. Louis …

Dodgers:
LF Carl Crawford
2B Mark Ellis
1B Adrian Gonzalez
RF Yasiel Puig
3B Juan Uribe
CF Skip Schumaker
C A.J. Ellis
SS Nick Punto
SP Clayton Kershaw

Big changes now that Hanley Ramirez has been scratched due to sore ribs. Carl Crawford and Mark Ellis remain remain in the same spots, but everybody else will move up in the order. Meanwhile, Nick Punto will play shortstop. Andre Ethier made his first start in center field in nearly a month last night, but it’s no surprise to see Skip Schumaker in there with the quick turnaround after the extra-inning loss in Game 1. Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports that X-rays on Ethier’s left ankle came back negative after last night’s game, but he’s clearly not 100 percent.

Cardinals:
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
C Yadier Molina
3B David Freese
1B Matt Adams
CF Jon Jay
SS Pete Kozma
SP Michael Wacha

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has altered his lineup slightly with left-hander Clayton Kershaw on the hill for Los Angeles. Yadier Molina will move into the cleanup and David Freese will bat sixth while Matt Adams and Jon Jay both slide down in the order.

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.