Astros 3B Bregman back after two-month injury absence

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was activated from the disabled list after missing more than two months with a strained left quadriceps.

Bregman was playing third and batting sixth in the lineup on Wednesday as the Astros wrapped up a series against the Kansas City Royals after splitting the first two games.

The 27-year-old hasn’t played since he was injured running to first base on June 16. Bregman went on two separate rehabilitation assignments at Triple-A Sugar Land to prepare for his return.

Bregman, the runner-up for AL MVP in 2019, is batting .275 with seven homers and 34 RBIs in 59 games this season. His return should be a boost to a team that entered Wednesday’s games 4+ games ahead of Oakland for first place in the AL West.

Infielder Jacob Wilson was optioned to Sugar Land to make room for Bregman on the roster.

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.