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“It will change the look of our ballclub a little bit, but we’ll move on,” Dombrowski said. “I think we still have a chance to win a world championship.”

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was suspended through the end of next season, but appealed the penalty and can play until an arbitrator decides the case, which isn’t expected until November or December at the earliest.

New York is on the fringe of the playoff race and desperate for power _ the 38-year-old Rodriguez has 647 career homers.

“We have a mission to enter the postseason,” he said. “We have challenges.”

San Diego All-Star shortstop Everth Cabrera and Philadelphia lefty reliever Antonio Bastardo also were penalized. Their teams are below .500 and far back in the races.

Texas promoted outfielders Engel Beltre and Joey Butler from Triple-A Round Rock. Speedy Craig Gentry might get more playing time, too, in the Rangers‘ rejiggered lineup without Cruz.

“It’s upsetting a little bit,” Gentry said. “He’s a great teammate and he’s been a big part of this ballclub for a lot of years. It’s going to be a little bit tough not having him around.”

Especially with the way he was hitting.

“It goes without saying we’re not going to replace Nelson’s production with any one player, whether that’s internally or via a trade,” Daniels said. “But we’re going to be creative. … It’s a challenge for us, with Nelson’s history of production and the year he’s having.”