Video: Ryan Braun was called out for batting out of order

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Kicking off Monday’s Independence Day action, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun singled up the middle with two outs in the first inning against Nationals starter Max Scherzer. It was seemingly innocuous, but Nats manager Dusty Baker came out for a chat with home plate umpire Cory Blaser. The umpires conferred and crew chief Jeff Nelson ultimately ruled Ryan Braun out.

Why? Braun was to bat fourth, not third, in the Brewers’ lineup on Monday afternoon. Jonathan Lucroy should have been at the plate. Though Braun took the plate appearance, Lucroy was “credited” with a ground out without making a plate appearance. The inning ended, and Braun got to lead off the next inning. Braun would, appropriately, ground out to lead off the second.

[mlbvideo id=”893051483″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

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.