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Nomar Mazara exits game with oblique injury

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Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara was forced out of Monday night’s game against the Angels due to tightness in his left oblique, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Mazara reached base on a fielding error by second baseman Luis Rengifo in the first inning. He was examined by team trainers and initially stayed in the game but did not take his position for the top of the third inning.

Mazara, 24, entered the night batting .269/.319/.467 with 27 doubles, 17 home runs, 62 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 442 plate appearances on the season.

Oblique injuries tend to be serious in nature, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rangers place him on the 10-day injured list tomorrow. It would seem even more likely since they will play a doubleheader against the Angels.

Shin-Soo Choo would most likely handle right field while Mazara is out while Hunter Pence would serve as the everyday DH. Pence and Choo have been platooning at DH for most of the season.

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.