Yasiel Puig was late on Wednesday … because he had to take his mother to the hospital

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Yasiel Puig’s issues with tardiness are well-chronicled on HBT and he showed up late to Dodger Stadium again on Wednesday. But there was a good reason for that, via J.P. Hoonstra of the L.A. Daily News

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was the last position player on the field Wednesday, arriving a few minutes after his teammates for the pregame routine.

That is nothing new; today’s tardy, however, was excused. Puig informed team officials in advance that he would be late because he had to take his mother to a hospital.

Puig has been bumped to the leadoff spot for Wednesday night’s series finale against the Padres after hitting seventh on Tuesday and sixth Monday. He has a rough .210 batting average and .539 OPS since August 1.

“It’s time to get him going,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said in his pregame chat with reporters on Wednesday. “The biggest thing is that we need him. Everything we’ve tried to so so far has been trying to get him going, trying to take pressure off him in different spots. When he’s going good were a better team.”

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.