Indians ace Justin Masterson will miss at least one start because of a strained left oblique, another blow to a team struggling to stay in playoff contention. The righthander was pulled from Monday’s game against Baltimore in the second inning because of soreness in his left side and an MRI on Tuesday revealed the injury. Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Masterson won’t resume baseball activities until he’s pain-free. An oblique injury takes some players 4-6 weeks to recover from, which would be too late for Masterson to return. ‘‘It could take a short amount of time or it could take a little bit. We’re hoping for the shortest bit of time,’’ said Masterson, an All-Star who is 14-10 with a 3.52 ERA . . . Indians two-time All-Star closer Chris Perez pleaded no contest and was convicted of misdemeanor drug abuse for marijuana shipped to his home in the family dog’s name. Perez withdrew his not guilty plea and was found guilty and fined $250. He also was placed on probation for one year and was ordered to speak to youngsters about drugs. Meanwhile, the Indians activated outfielder Ryan Raburn, who hasn’t played since Aug. 18 because of a strained left Achilles’ tendon, from the 15-day disabled list.
Royals promote Pena for stretch run
Veteran slugger Carlos Pena, 35, had his contract purchased by the Royals from Triple A Omaha for the stretch run. Pena, who starred at Northeastern University, was once among the most feared hitters in the American League, hitting 39 homers during his All-Star season of 2009 . . . Dodgers star rookie Yasiel Puig was out of the starting lineup Tuesday at Colorado a day after he aggravated a right knee strain. ‘‘I'm not going to run him out there till he’s ready, till he’s feeling he’s going to be able to play full speed because he’s not really a guy that plays half-speed very well,’’ manager Don Mattingly said . . . The Pirates activated All-Star closer Jason Grilli from the disabled list. The 36-year-old righthander had been on the DL since straining the right flexor tendon in his pitching arm during a 6-5 victory over Washington on July 22. He had been on a rehab assignment in the minors before being recalled Tuesday. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Grilli will make a couple of relief appearances in non-save situations before resuming his role as the closer . . . The Rangers activated righthander Alexi Ogando from the 15-day disabled list. Ogando (5-4, 3.47 ERA in 15 starts) began his third DL stint of the season on Aug. 20 because of an inflamed nerve in his right shoulder. He threw a bullpen session on Monday and the Rangers added him to their expanded roster for September . . . The Padres signed outfielder Will Venable to an $8.5 million, two-year contract extension through 2015. Venable, the son of former big leaguer Max Venable, will make $4.25 million each of the next two seasons. Venable was San Diego’s seventh-round draft pick in the 2005 draft.
Troubled Beasley, Suns end contract
The Phoenix Suns and Michael Beasley reached an agreement to terminate the contract of the troubled power forward. The move will cost the franchise $7 million, a $2 million savings from what Beasley would have been due had he simply been waived. Beasley was arrested a month ago in Scottsdale, Ariz., on charges of felony marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. It was the latest in a series of incidents involving the drug that have plagued his NBA career after he was selected with the No. 2 overall draft pick out of Kansas State in 2008 . . . The Raptors waived swingman Quentin Richardson less than two months after he was acquired in a trade with the Knicks.
US optimistic Altidore will be ready
Jozy Altidore was cleared to resume practice, and United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he’s optimistic his striker will be ready for Friday’s World Cup qualifier in Costa Rica. Altidore missed Saturday’s game for club team Sunderland because of a right hamstring injury. He still traveled to join the Americans in Miami, and US Soccer announced that doctors had cleared him after a full evaluation.
Nadal to play for Spain in Davis Cup
Rafael Nadal will play for Spain next week in a World Group playoff against Ukraine. It’s the first time he’s playing Davis Cup since his country won the 2011 final. In other Davis Cup news, Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek will play for defending champion Czech Republic when it meets Argentina in next week’s semifinals. In the other semifinal, top-ranked Novak Djokovic will lead Serbia against a Canadian team powered by Milos Raonic. This is the first time Canada has made the World Group semis. The semifinal winners will meet for the title in November . . . Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen might not be ready to start the NHL season. Pitkanen broke his heel in April in a game against Washington, costing him the final 13 games of the season . . . The University of Minnesota will play Ohio State in a game at the football team’s TCF Bank Stadium on Jan. 17 in the Hockey City Classic. The Golden Gophers appeared in the annual outdoor game last year at Soldier Field in Chicago against Wisconsin . . .The 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course ended with attendance falling about 5 percent and on-track wagering dipping slightly from last year . . . Defending champion Oracle Team USA was docked 2 points in the America’s Cup match against Emirates Team Zealand and a key sailor was expelled in the harshest penalties levied in the 162-year history of sailing’s marquee regatta. An international jury spent four weeks investigating illegal modifications of prototype boats used in warm-up regattas last year and earlier this year. The match begins with two races Saturday and two on Sunday on San Francisco Bay.