Drew Silva

machi getty

Jean Machi named Red Sox closer

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Junichi Tazawa has been showing signs of fatigue throughout the second half of the 2015 season and he walked four of the six batters he faced in an ugly appearance Friday night against the New York Mets.

Jean Machi contributed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in that same game and he earned a save on Saturday evening against the leaders of the National League East race with another spotless frame.

So you probably could have predicted that this announcement was coming at some point Sunday from interim Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo …

Machi owns a rough 5.21 ERA in 46 2/3 total innings this season between San Francisco and Boston, but the out-of-contention Red Sox will simply roll with what’s currently working as they play out the string.

Video: Josh Donaldson puts the Blue Jays up early with his 36th home run of the season

Josh Donaldson
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Josh Donaldson got Sunday Funday started early in Toronto with this first-inning solo blast

That was the 36th home run and 105th RBI of the season for Donaldson, who continues to pad his resume for American League MVP. Edwin Encarnacion went deep moments later for his 30th home run of the year.

EE also homered three times on Saturday afternoon and tallied a franchise-high nine RBI.

A.J. Burnett throws 70-pitch bullpen session, aims to return to Pirates rotation in two weeks

A.J. Burnett
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A.J. Burnett has been out since late July with a strained flexor tendon in his right arm. There was some thought initially that the injury would be a season-ender (and thus career-ender) for the 38-year-old, but he’s beginning to make significant progress.

Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette tweets that Burnett threw around 70 pitches in a bullpen workout Sunday and reported feeling great. The veteran starter is aiming to return for a big four-game series against the Cubs on September 15-17.

Burnett was sporting a cool 3.06 ERA in 21 starts with the Bucs before landing on the disabled list. J.A Happ has been filling his rotation spot and is actually pitching quite well, but that’s doubtful to last.

Pittsburgh entered play Sunday with a firm hold on the first National League Wild Card.

And the Bucs only trail the Cardinals by 3 1/2 games in the National League Central.