Yadier Molina to undergo MRI exam on sore right knee

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Yadier Molina has been playing through knee soreness since late August, but has left the Cardinals on their road trip to Pittsburgh and traveled back to St. Louis to undergo an MRI exam.
“We’ve been watching it closely,” manager Tony La Russa told Matthew Leach of MLB.com. “For him to agree to get it checked, there’s more soreness in it.”
Molina has played well this month despite the pain, hitting .277/.342/.385 with 14 RBIs in 19 games. Matt Pagnozzi will draw starts behind the plate for however long he’s out, because the Cardinals’ usual backup catcher was forced into retirement by a Johnny Cueto kick to the head.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.