Jeff Suppan goes five scoreless in spot start with Padres

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Veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan bounced around between a few different minor league systems in 2011 and had surrendered nine runs (on 17 hits) in 6 2/3 innings through his first two starts this season at Triple-A Tuscon. So it was a shock when the Padres announced Tuesday that they were calling him up for a spot Wednesday night against the Brewers.

But it went about as smoothly as possible.

Suppan tossed five scoreless innings, yielding only four hits to a Milwaukee lineup that included Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart.

The bullpen carried the torch for the final four frames as the Friars rolled to a 5-0 victory.

With Cory Luebke now on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to April 28) with elbow discomfort, Suppan may have earned himself another outing. Dan Hayes of the North County Times says the 37-year-old was regularly hitting 87 mph with his fastball, which is exactly his average from the 2010 season.

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.