SAN FRANCISCO — Melky Cabrera's MVP-like year is over, at least for the regular season.
The Giants outfielder was suspended for 50 games Wednesday after a positive test for testosterone, putting an abrupt end to what had been a remarkable regular season and throwing his team's playoff hopes into doubt.
"Ultimately, it was just a bad decision," C Buster Posey said.
Entering Wednesday, Cabrera led the National League with 159 hits and was second in average (.346) to Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen. He was second on the team to Posey in on-base percentage (.390) and slugging percentage (.516).
Cabrera's penalty was the first for a high-profile player since last year's NL MVP, Ryan Braun, had his suspension for a positive drug test overturned by an arbitrator last winter.
"My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used," Cabrera said in a statement released by the players association. "I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program, and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake, and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down."
The suspension would extend into the playoffs if the Giants advanced.
"It happened, and now we move on," RF Hunter Pence said. "I know the (drug) program ,and I know they test us, and if we test positive, we get a suspension. That's what happened. And now we play with what we've got."
Cabrera, in his first season with San Francisco, is five hits shy of 1,000 in his career. He singled and hit a two-run homer last month in the National League's 8-0 win in the All-Star Game, earning MVP honors for the game and securing homefield advantage for the NL for the World Series.
Cabrera is set to become a free agent after this season, so he might have cost himself a big pay day, too.
OWNER DENIES RIFT: None of the Red Sox players in a series of meetings with the team's top brass called for manager Bobby Valentine to be replaced, owner John Henry said.
Henry issued a statement one day after Yahoo Sports reported that several players met with him and team president Larry Lucchino in New York on July 27 to complain about Valentine. Chairman Tom Werner was also at the meeting.
Henry said he called the meeting, and it "quickly went to the point: What do we need to do to turn things around?"
In other Red Sox news, DH David Ortiz, out since July 18, was shut down in his rehabilitation from a strained right Achilles tendon.
ASTROS: RHP Bud Norris left the game against the Cubs after being hit in the left foot by a line drive in the fourth inning.
ATHLETICS: RF Josh Reddick was scratched because of complications from a tooth extraction on the team's off day Monday.
CARDINALS: LHP Jaime Garcia, out for a month with a shoulder strain, is set to return to the rotation Sunday. Rookie RHP Joe Kelly will go to the bullpen.
CUBS: Vice president of player personnel Oneri Fleita, a member of the organization since 1995, and manager of baseball information Chuck Wasserstom, a club employee since 1986, were fired. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein said more front office changes were imminent. … OF Alfonso Soriano cleared waivers and can be traded to any team, CBSSports.com reported.
PIRATES: 2B Neil Walker left the game against the Dodgers in the first inning with dislocated right finger.
WHITE SOX: 1B Paul Konerko hit in the cage and played catch, and remains on track to come off the seven-day concussion disabled list Friday.
YANKEES: 2B Robinson Cano was held out of the lineup because of a stiff neck.