Aramis Ramirez balks at rehab stint, set to return Friday

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Out since April 5 with a sprained left knee, Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is on track to return from the disabled list on Friday.

Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Ramirez would be rejoining the Brewers’ lineup without going on a minor-league rehab assignment first, which is rare this early in a season.

And manager Ron Roenicke admitted to McCalvy that the team would prefer Ramirez go on a rehab stint, but “a player has a right not to rehab” and “you work with whatever player it is, you explain things to him, and they have the decision.”

In other words, Ramirez vetoed playing a few games in the minors to make sure his knee is ready.

Video: Dexter Fowler robs Asdrúbal Cabrera of three-run homer

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler made a critical catch in the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Nationals. With the Cardinals leading 5-1, the Nationals were threatening with runners on first and second with one out against lefty Andrew Miller. Asdrúbal Cabrera worked a full count before serving a 3-2 outside slider to right field. The ball had home run distance, but Fowler tracked it, leaped at the wall, and robbed Cabrera of a three-run home run.

Carlos Martínez relieved Miller, getting Victor Robles to ground out to end the inning. The Cardinals would go on to win 5-1.

The game had playoff implications on both sides. The win bumped the Cardinals’ hold on first place in the NL Central to 2.5 games while the Nationals’ lead over the Cubs and Brewers for the first NL Wild Card shrinks to just one game.

The Nationals will close out their final road trip of the regular season with three games against the Marlins before hosting the Phillies for five games and the Indians for three. The Cardinals, meanwhile, begin their final road trip of the regular season with four against the Cubs followed by three against the Diamondbacks before closing out the season at home with three games versus the Cubs.