Angels’ Trout not giving up on 2021 return from calf injury

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CLEVELAND – Mike Trout says he is still aiming to return to the Los Angeles Angels lineup this season despite a lengthy and frustrating recovery from a calf injury that has sidelined him since May 17.

The three-time AL MVP said Saturday before a game in Cleveland that he hasn’t given any thought to shutting down for the year.

“I’m just trying to get back,” he said. “Obviously, we’re running out [of] time here, but my main focus is to get back on the field no matter when it is.”

The center fielder said he thought he’d already be back after injuring his right calf running the bases May 17.

“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve been through in my career,” Trout said. “I’ve been through some injuries, but this thing is tough. I never realized how much I use my calf.”

“I’m feeling better,” he added. “I’ve been doing a lot lately, seems like every other day, every two days, doing a bunch of baseball activities. The biggest thing is recovering. I do a lot of work during the day and try to recover quicker the next day because the next day I’m pretty sore.”

The 30-year-old Trout said he couldn’t give a date when he’ll begin a rehabilitation assignment, but he’s been running every other day.

Trout took part in on-field activities Tuesday in Detroit and worked out again on the field in Cleveland before Friday’s game.

“If I do a whole baseball load work one day and then I’m real sore the next day, it’s tough,” he said. “I’m trying to get to a point where I do a bunch of baseball activities, the next day I can come in, play again and do the same thing. It’s getting better each and every day.”

Angels manager Joe Maddon said he talks with his superstar every day.

“I know his desire it to get back here and play with us this year,” Maddon said. “He wants to get back badly. Watch him on the bench, you see it in his eyeballs, he wants be here playing. Whatever it takes to get back on the playing field he’s going to try to do that.”

The nine-time All-Star is hitting .333 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs in 36 games.

The Angels are 62-62 and in fourth place in the AL West, 11 games behind first-place Houston. Los Angeles is 8 + games out in the wild card race.

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.