Pat Neshek's injury was misdiagnosed by Twins

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Ron Gardenhire was described as “steaming” over the weekend when the Twins intended to demote Pat Neshek to Triple-A only to be told that the reliever preferred to be placed on the disabled list because his finger injury was still a problem.
Neshek received some subtle jabs from Gardenhire and some not-so-subtle jabs from the local media … and now it turns out the Twins’ medical staff misdiagnosed his injury the whole time.
Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com reports that an MRI exam revealed the injury is to Neshek’s palm rather than his middle finger, which makes sense given that a cortisone shot to his finger last month didn’t seem to help much. It also explain why Neshek had trouble gripping the baseball and why his fastball velocity dipped several miles per hour, causing him to struggle leading up to the planned demotion.
Neshek wrote via Facebook that he’s “not happy with anything that has gone on, especially when it could have been taken care of three weeks ago and I was told the wrong info.” However, he added that “Gardy and I are on the same page” and once healthy he’s willing to pitch wherever the Twins assign him, calling the whole thing “a miscommunication.”
As for why it took the medical staff a month to order an MRI exam or why the Twins felt the need to publicly criticize Neshek, that’s another issue.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.