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David Paulino suspended 80 games for testing positive for Boldenone

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Astros’ right-hander David Paulino has received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for Boldenone, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Paulino is reportedly not appealing his suspension, which will make him ineligible to be placed on the Astros’ postseason roster in the fall.

Paulino, 23, was just starting to find his footing with the Astros prior to news of the violation. During his last outing on Wednesday night, the rookie right-hander struggled against the hot-hitting Athletics and was tagged for seven runs and four homers, earning another no-decision while the Astros went on to win 11-8. While he only saw the sixth inning once this season, he maintained a respectable 2.2 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over his first 29 innings, collecting two wins in his first six starts. MLB Pipeline, Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America each ranked Paulino No. 3 among Houston’s current crop of prospects, highlighting his effective fastball-curveball combo and the way he works his 6’7″ frame to his advantage on the mound.

According to MLB.com’s Christian Boutwell, Paulino’s violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is the first such infraction by an active Astros player in franchise history. This is the rookie’s second suspension within the Astros’ system following an undisclosed incident at Double-A Corpus Christi in 2016, though it marks the first ban he’s received for using a performance-enhancing substance. Manager A.J. Hinch offered a brief comment to the media following news of Paulino’s suspension on Saturday:

It’s very disappointing,” Hinch said. “This impacts clubhouses around the game from time to time, but you never think it’s going to happen in your clubhouse. It’s disappointing because of all the good that he’s done in his career and to be effective, but it’s the nature of the business when you try to find a competitive edge. The program’s in place to catch these type of actions, and clearly, it worked.

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.