D.J. Short

Minnesota Twins' Glen Perkins pitches in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk
AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk

Glen Perkins aims for Friday return from back injury

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The Twins have managed to stay alive in the AL Wild Card race over the past two weeks despite missing All-Star closer Glen Perkins due to a lower back injury. Now they are close to getting him back.

According to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, Perkins threw 31 pitches in a bullpen session today and didn’t have any issues. He’s scheduled to throw another one on Wednesday. Assuming Perkins comes out of it feeling good, he’s aiming to make his return in Friday’s series opener against the Angels.

Perkins, who also missed some time in August with a neck injury, has posted a 2.68 ERA and 46/8 K/BB ratio over 50 1/3 innings this season while going 32-for-34 in save chances. Kevin Jepsen has done a nice job filling in at closer and Bollinger writes that he’s likely to keep the job until Perkins proves that he’s healthy.

Carlos Gomez to miss series vs. Rangers with intercostal strain

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25:  Carlos Gomez #30 of the Houston Astros rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run against Chris Capuano #26 of the New York Yankees in the seventh inning during their game at Yankee Stadium on August 25, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
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UPDATE: Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that Gomez will miss the entire series against the Rangers. However, his intercostal strain is considered mild.

7:10 p.m. ET: Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that Gomez’s intercostal strain is mild compared to others on the team have had. It sounds like he could be a day-to-day situation.

6:14 p.m. ET: The Astros will be without Carlos Gomez for the start of their huge series against the Rangers tonight, as he’s sitting for the second straight day due to an injury to his left side.

Gomez felt discomfort in his side during batting practice on Sunday and traveled back to Houston to be evaluated by team doctors. You obviously start thinking about a possible oblique injury in a situation like this, which could keep him on the shelf for a while. We’re still waiting on an official diagnosis, but Brian McTaggart of MLB.com writes that he’s “totally unavailable” tonight.

Gomez, who was acquired from the Brewers before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, is batting .234/.282/.379 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 38 games with the Astros. While he got off to a slow start with his new team, he’s batting .306 with a .927 OPS over his last 16 games.

Drew Storen broke his thumb after slamming his locker in frustration

Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen stands next to the mound as New York Mets' Yoenis Cespedes, left, rounds the bases on a two-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, in Washington. The Mets won 5-3. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

After melting down on Tuesday against the Mets, Nationals reliever Drew Storen gave up a go-ahead two-run homer to Yoenis Cespedes on Wednesday. The Nationals were swept in the three-game series, which essentially put an end to their playoff hopes. Somehow, things have gotten worse for Drew Storen:

This likely wraps up a nightmare second half for Storen, who really struggled after the Nationals acquired Jonathan Papelbon and bumped him out of the closer role. Storen is arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter, but with Papelbon under contract for 2016, there’s a pretty good chance that the Nationals will trade him. Quite a way to go out, if so.