Adam LaRoche out Saturday with back stiffness

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According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Adam LaRoche is out of today’s lineup against the Reds due to a stiff back. He has been dealing with the issue over the past couple of days and made an early exit from last night’s 15-0 blowout loss after his condition worsened.

It doesn’t sound like a major concern at the moment, but there’s a chance that LaRoche could also sit out tomorrow. Chad Tracy will make the start at first base this afternoon with right-hander Mike Leake on the hill for Cincinnati.

LaRoche, 33, batted .271/.343/.510 with 33 home runs, 100 RBI and an .853 OPS last season. He was retained by Washington this winter on a two-year, $24 million contract with a mutual option for 2015.

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.