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Blue Jays’ Shoemaker set for MRI on hurt knee

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Toronto Blue Jays starter Matt Shoemaker had to be helped off the field after suffering a left knee sprain during a rundown in the third inning Saturday against the Oakland Athletics.

He will undergo an MRI on Sunday, the team said.

Few in the Blue Jays’ clubhouse were in the mood to celebrate following their 10-1 win to continue a successful road trip

“I just found out when the game was over,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “We’re going to find out tomorrow from the MRI how bad it is.”

Shoemaker, sidelined in recent years by a series of injuries, was hurt while chasing Oakland’s Matt Chapman. The 32-year-old starter applied the tag and spun around to avoid contact.

As he twirled, Shoemaker appeared to injure his knee.

Shoemaker hopped around before falling to the ground as a team trainer rushed out. He was down for several moments and sat with his head in his hands before being helped to his feet and off the field.

“You never want to see the pitcher involved but it happened,” Montoyo said. “There’s nothing we can do about it right now. He’s a gamer. He got in there because he wanted to get the out.”

Limited to seven starts last year with the Angels because a strained right forearm, Shoemaker entered the day 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA for his new team. In 2016, Shoemaker sustained a skull fracture when he was hit in the head by a line drive, and he’s had lingering forearm trouble for a while.

“He’s been great,” said Toronto’s Sam Gaviglio, who got the win in relief of Shoemaker. “Every time he’s taken the mound he’s going deep in games. Every outing has been strong for him, even today until the incident occurred. Hopefully he’ll be back.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Longtime Texas baseball writer Fraley dies at 64

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DALLAS — Gerry Fraley, a longtime baseball writer who spent most of his career with The Dallas Morning News, has died. He was 64.

Fraley died early Saturday after a two-year battle with cancer, the newspaper reported.

After covering the Braves for the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, Fraley joined the Dallas paper in 1989 to cover the Texas Rangers. Fraley also wrote about football, basketball and NASCAR among other assignments for the Morning News.

Assistant managing editor for sports Garry Leavell said Fraley’s versatility “is what separated him from his peers.”

Former President George W. Bush, who was part of the ownership group of the Rangers before going into politics, said, “It always seemed to me that baseball was his real passion, thereby establishing a kinship and a lasting friendship.”

Former baseball commissioner Bud Selig also was among those who respected Fraley’s no-nonsense approach to reporting, saying, “He was fair, honest, a great reporter.”

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Yaz’s grandson to make MLB debut with Giants

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After more than six years in the minor leagues, Mike Yastrzemski — the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski — will make his major league debut Saturday after being called up for the first time.

Yastrzemski will start in left field for the San Francisco Giants and will bat seventh against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Yastrzemski, 28, was traded to the Giants in March by the Baltimore Orioles, with whom he made his first big league spring training this year.

Drafted by Orioles in 2013, Yastrzemski rose quickly in the organization before his career stalled. Three years after he was drafted, he was playing for Triple-A Norfolk but then split time between Norfolk and Double-A Bowie, never making the leap to the majors.

“It’s all a learning experience,” Yastrzemski said in March, prior to the trade. “Everybody’s got their own path to get where they want to go; whatever path that is for me, I’m fine with it. As long as you see some light at the end of the tunnel and you put everything into it, it’s rewarding in that sense.”

In seven minor league seasons, Yastrzemski has a .263 average but has never hit more than 15 home runs or had more than 75 RBIs. He was hitting .316 with 12 home runs and 25 RBIs for Triple-A Sacramento this season.

His grandfather, 79-year-old Carl Yastrzemski, spent all 23 years of his major league career with the Boston Red Sox and retired having played the most games (3,308) of any player in major league history to that point. He was an 18-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove winner and won the Triple Crown in 1967, when he helped lead the “Impossible Dream” Red Sox to a World Series appearance.

To make room on the roster, the Giants designated outfielder Mac Williamson for assignment. Williamson was hitting .118 in 15 games this season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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A’s designate reliever Rodney for assignment

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The Oakland Athletics have designated relief pitcher Fernando Rodney for assignment, the team announced Saturday.

Rodney, 42, has seen his ERA balloon to a career-worst 9.42 this season. He had returned to Oakland for 2019 after the A’s exercised a $5.25 million club option.

Rodney has pitched for 10 teams in a 17-year career and ranks 18th in MLB history with 325 saves.

The A’s called up left-hander Wei-Chung Wang from Triple-A Las Vegas. He has 22 games of major league experience, all with the Milwaukee Brewers.

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