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Cubs activate Jason Heyward from 10-day disabled list

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The Cubs activated outfielder Jason Heyward from the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, per a team announcement. He’s expected to be made available off the bench as the club goes for the sweep against the Reds, though it might be a while longer before he’s cleared to make another start in the outfield.

It’s been over two weeks since Heyward last appeared for the Cubs. He sustained a right hamstring injury on a diving play in the outfield last month and has been slowly working his way back to full strength ever since. As the team is currently on the cusp of postseason contention, it makes sense that they’d approach Heyward’s recovery process with some measure of caution in order to keep him healthy for their run in October.

Heyward, 29, is rounding out his third full season in Chicago. In what has been his most valuable season with the team to date, he’s maintained a .275/.342/.399 batting line with 32 extra-base hits and a .740 OPS through 451 plate appearances.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.