UPDATE: Colby Rasmus sits out fourth straight game

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UPDATE: Rasmus is out of the lineup again today.

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Colby Rasmus missed his third straight game with an abdominal injury last night, but an ultrasound showed no structural damage and Matthew Leach of MLB.com reports that he “appears to be very close to a return to the starting lineup.”

According to Leach “he’s dealing with nothing more serious than a muscle strain in his midsection” and could be back in the Cardinals’ lineup as soon as tonight. Jon Jay has been filling in for Rasmus in center field.

Rasmus was one of my “breakout picks” for this season and was living up to the hype prior to the injury, hitting .305 with a .393 on-base percentage and .461 slugging percentage in 39 games, dramatically improving his walk rate and strikeout-to-walk ratio at age 24.

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.