By Ron Kaplan, contributor

Yesterday was the deadline for trades that would qualify players to appear in the post-season. The Detroit Tigers made a couple of big deals, parting ways with their ace Justin Verlander and outfielder Justin Upton, but Ian Kinsler remains mired with the last-place team, which was idle last night. There’s still a better-than-average chance that Kinsler will be dealt after the season.

Verlander joins Alex Bregman and the first-place Houston Astros (80-53), who beat the visiting Texas Rangers, 5-1. Bregman was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI, and his 15th stolen base. As noted on, “Bregman has had an excellent month of August, slashing .339/.392/.587 with three triples, four stolen bases, five home runs, six doubles, 13 runs scored and 19 runs batted in.”

Kevin Pillar drove in a pair with his 32nd double — his second hit of the game — as the Toronto Blue Jays (62-72) beat the host Baltimore Orioles (68-66), 8-6. Richard Bleier saw his eight-game scoreless streak come to an end, but only after he stopped the bleeding in the fifth when the Jays scored five times. He allowed one run on one hit in the sixth, but that was only because Mychal Givens, who relieved him, gave up a homer to Kendrys Morales, so not totally Bleier’s fault.

Ryan Braun joined the RBI parade, plating his ribbie on a sacrifice fly as the Milwaukee Brewers (70-64) beat the visiting Washington Nationals, 6-3. Braun had one hit in three official at-bats and scored a run.

September begins the month where rosters can expand to 40 players, so teams generally promote their top prospects. Joc Pederson is somewhat in limbo and will not be rejoining the LA Dodgers, at least not immediately. On the other hand, the Braves not only are bringing Max Fried back but will have him make his first Major League start on Sunday against the Cubs in Wrigley Field. Maybe the Chicago White Sox, who are in the doldrums, will bring back rookie pitcher Brad Goldberg.

Shameless self-promotion time: My latest interview on the Hank Greenberg book, courtesy Nathan Bierma, host of the Tigers History podcast.

Ron Kaplan (@RonKaplanNJ) hosts Kaplan’s Korner, a blog about Jews and sports. He is the author of three books, including The Jewish Olympics: The History of the Maccabiah Games and Hank Greenberg in 1938: Hatred and Home Runs in the Shadow of War.

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