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Blue Jays' Cabrera has benign tumour removed

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera had a benign tumour removed from his spine and is expected to be ready for spring training.

Cabrera, who hasn't played since Aug. 1 because of a season-ending ankle injury, had the surgery on Aug. 30.

The outfielder was experiencing back pain for three or four months, but hadn't told anyone about it, Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos said on Saturday before the Blue Jays' game against the Minnesota Twins. The tumour was pushing on nerves and causing weakness in his legs and causing the issues that plagued Cabrera throughout the season.

"It didn't make any sense considering he's 28 years old," Anthopoulos said. "I'm glad he finally came forward. I'm not glad that we found something, but I'm glad it can be corrected and we should be good to go."

Cabrera revealed his back pain after visiting a personal doctor and an MRI revealed the tumour.

"You give him credit because he doesn't want to come out of the lineup, wants to play, would have to be dragged to the training room, didn't want treatment, did not want to make excuses, ever, for his play," Anthopoulos said. "That's something that you admire. I think he's just relieved that now he knows he's going to be fine."

Cabrera, who signed a two-year, $16-million contract with Toronto in the off-season, will need two weeks to recover from the surgery. He finished this season with a .279 average and three home runs with 30 RBI in 88 games.

Speed kills -- opponents

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- The Los Angeles Dodgers got another solid start from Zack Greinke and a big home run by Yasiel Puig.

This time, it wasn't enough.

Brian Wilson picked up his first loss with Los Angeles when Billy Hamilton stole second in the 10th inning and scored on Todd Frazier's game-ending single, giving the Cincinnati Reds a 4-3 victory on Saturday.

Ryan Ludwick opened the Cincinnati 10th with a leadoff walk against Wilson (1-1). Reds manager Dusty Baker then went to the dynamic Hamilton, and the speedy prospect took second as catcher A.J. Ellis dropped the ball while taking it out of his glove.

The 22-year-old Hamilton, who set a professional record with 155 steals in the minors last season, has yet to make a plate appearance in the majors, but is 4 for 4 on steal attempts since he was promoted on Monday.

Frazier followed with a line-drive single into right field to give Cincinnati five wins in its last six games. J.J. Hoover (4-5) got three outs for the victory.

Yasiel Puig hit a two-run homer for NL West-leading Los Angeles.

Bosox pulverize Yankees

NEW YORK -- With each swing, Mike Napoli and the Boston Red Sox are suddenly turning every game into slow-pitch softball.

Napoli hit two home runs, Jonny Gomes and prized rookie Xander Bogaerts also connected, and the Red Sox kept up their dizzying scoring spree at Yankee Stadium by bashing New York 13-9 Saturday for a fifth straight win.

"Sometimes you're like, 'What's going on?' Because what we're doing now is pretty crazy," Napoli said.

The AL East leaders became the first visiting team in more than a century to score at least nine runs on three straight days against the Yankees. In fact, the last time it happened, they weren't called the Yankees -- Boston did it in 1912 to the Highlanders at Hilltop Park.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 8, 2013 B12

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