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New York Yankees’ Tommy Kahnle likely to have Tommy John surgery

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The New York Yankees got the worst news possible Friday on Tommy Kahnle‘s injured elbow, as manager Aaron Boone announced the reliever is likely destined for Tommy John surgery.

“He’s probably headed for surgery,” Boone said. “Your heart goes out to Tommy, knowing it’s a significant injury that has to get taken care of right now.”

Kahnle underwent an MRI that revealed a a right ulnar collateral injury. The right-hander first felt right forearm tightness during the Yankees’ impromptu workout Tuesday night at Camden Yards in Baltimore, following the postponement of their scheduled games against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

Kahnle, who turns 31 on Aug. 7, had an important role in the Yankees’ bullpen, having thrown 61⅓ innings in 2019 with a 3.67 ERA and an average of 12.9 strikeouts for every 9 innings.

“It’s a big loss,” said outfielder Aaron Judge, who hit a two-run homer Friday in the Yankees’ 5-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox in their rescheduled home opener. “During a game like this, when it’s 3-1, you have that back end of our bullpen of Greeny [Chad Green], Tommy, Otto [Adam Ottavino] and then [Zack] Britton, that’s tough to get by. Kind of missing a big piece like Tommy Kahnle is going to be tough for us.”

Kahnle had pitched one scoreless inning this season, striking out three Washington Nationals batters in the eighth inning on Sunday.

“We’re going to have to pick up the slack,” Boone added. “Tommy is an elite reliever in the league; some guys are going to have to step up and pick up some important outs along the way.”

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Giants’ Hunter Pence feels ‘awful’ spoiling Johnny Cueto’s no-hit bid

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San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence said he felt “awful” that his defensive miscue in Saturday night’s 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers spoiled teammate Johnny Cueto‘s bid for a no-hitter.

Cueto was dominant most of the night and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, when Enrique Hernandez led off by lofting a fly ball to left field for what appeared to be a routine out.

Pence, playing in left, lost track of the ball in the Dodger Stadium twilight, and it sailed over his head as Hernandez coasted to third base for the Dodgers’ first hit of the night.

“Johnny had the magic and everything working,” Pence said. “To spoil that feels absolutely awful. He deserves better.”

Cueto appeared to unravel after that, and the Dodgers scored four runs in the inning to come within a run. His biggest mistake was a hanging curve ball to Justin Turner that resulted in a three-run homer. That was his final pitch of the night.

Before the sixth, Cueto (1-0) had allowed only a third-inning walk to Chris Taylor. He went 5 2/3 innings, marking his second straight outing where he was gone at least five innings. The right-hander allowed four runs on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

“Through five innings, Cueto could have shut anyone out in my opinion,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The stuff kept us off balance and everything was at the hollow of the knee. We didn’t hit a ball hard all night outside of the homer from Justin.”

Cueto developed a blister on his right big toe and said it started to bother him in the fourth inning. Manager Gabe Kapler and a trainer came to check on him in the sixth, but Cueto remained in the game.

“All my pitches were working fine and I felt comfortable,” said Cueto, who became the eighth pitcher born in the Dominican Republic to make 300 starts. “I think the most frustrating thing was the ball that was lost. If that is caught the game changes and maybe I pitch out of the inning. I didn’t throw a lot of pitches. It’s hard to tell how far I could have gone.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Cardinals vs. Pirates on Monday postponed due to coronavirus

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The Pittsburgh Pirates‘ flight to St. Louis on Sunday has been canceled and their game on Monday against the Cardinals has been postponed, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

By Sunday, the teams will have a better sense as to whether they’ll play Tuesday and Wednesday, sources told Passan.

The Cardinals’ three-game series against the Chicago Cubs this weekend was postponed after the league said two Cardinals players and one staff member tested positive for the coronavirus from samples collected over the past two days.

In total, nine Cardinals players and seven staffers have tested positive since last week. The Cardinals haven’t played since July 29.

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Padres activate Eric Hosmer from IL, option Abraham Almonte

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer was activated from the injured list Saturday after missing 11 of the first 14 games with gastritis.

To make room on the roster, outfielder Abraham Almonte was optioned to the alternate training site.

Hosmer was placed on the IL on Aug. 1, retroactive to July 29. He was scratched from the lineup three previous games.

“I’m feeling a lot better,” he said Saturday. “I’m feeling like I’m getting a lot of my strength back, gaining a lot of the weight I lost. Feels good to be back, being able to do something with the guys.”

Hosmer said he never received a precise diagnosis of the ailment and plans to see specialists after the season.

The team said it was not related to COVID-19.

“I went a couple weeks there struggling to get fluids down, nutrients down,” Hosmer said. “I’ve been on a pretty consistent schedule now as far as eating.”

He has yet to hit a ground ball. He hit a pair of bases-clearing doubles in a 7-2 victory against Arizona in the season opener and a home run in a loss to the Diamondbacks two days later.

He was back at first base and batting fifth against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night. Rookie Jake Cronenworth, who made seven starts at first during Hosmer’s absence, started at second base and hit seventh. Cronenworth has been impressive with his bat and glove.

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