SAN FRANCISCO – Outfielder Melky Cabrera was suspended for 50 games Wednesday following a positive test for testosterone, putting an abrupt end to what had been an MVP-caliber regular season and throwing the San Francisco Giants’ playoff hopes into doubt.

Cabrera leads the National League with 159 hits and is second in batting average behind Andrew McCutchen of Pittsburgh. Cabrera’s penalty was the first for a high-profile player since last year’s NL MVP, Ryan Braun, had his suspension 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 union. “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 advance.

Cabrera is batting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBI in his first season with San Francisco, and is five hits shy of 1,000 in his career.

CARDINALS: Left-hander Jaime Garcia will return to the rotation Sunday and the team will shift impressive rookie fill-in Joe Kelly to the bullpen.

“He’s proved he can go deep in the game for us,” Manager Mike Matheny said a day after Garcia’s fourth rehab start. “And he really feels good today, which is a great indicator.”

YANKEES: Second baseman Robinson Cano was held out of the lineup against Texas because of a stiff neck.

Cano has one hit in his last 15 at-bats and was hitless in the first two games against Texas. Jayson Nix replaced Cano at second base.

WHITE SOX: First baseman Paul Konerko hit in the cage and played catch, and remains on track to come off the seven-day concussion disabled list Friday.

Manager Robin Ventura said Konerko, who remained in Chicago rather than traveling with the team to Toronto, will fly Thursday to Kansas City to meet the team for a three-game series that begins Friday night.

METS: New York optioned catcher Rob Johnson to Triple-A Buffalo to make room on the roster for catcher Kelly Shoppach, acquired Tuesday in a trade with Boston.

Johnson has hit .250 with four RBI in 52 at-bats over 17 games in two stints with the Mets this season.

ASTROS: Right-hander Bud Norris left the game against the Chicago Cubs after being hit in the foot by a line drive in the fourth inning.

Following David DeJesus’ second homer of the game, Josh Vitters hit a liner up the middle that deflected off Norris’ left foot toward the third-base bag.

ROCKIES: Colorado recalled right-hander Guillermo Moscoso from Triple A Colorado Springs to start the game against Milwaukee.

To make room for Moscoso, the Rockies designated right-hander Mike Ekstrom for assignment.

CUBS: The team fired the vice president of player personnel, Oneri Fleita.

Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, said more front-office changes were imminent for the 45-70 Cubs.

CHAD CURTIS, a former major league outfielder, plans to fight an additional charge stemming from complaints about his behavior with female high school students in Michigan.

In June, Curtis, 42, was ordered to stand trial on charges he inappropriately touched two students at a school where he was a volunteer strength trainer. Barry County prosecutors this week said a criminal sexual conduct count involving another female student was added.

PIRATES: Second baseman Neil Walker left the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning with a dislocated finger on his right hand.

Walker writhed on the ground in pain after he fielded a Matt Kemp ground ball, ran to force out Mark Ellis at second and throw on to first. Walker appeared to land awkwardly on his right forearm after tumbling over Ellis’ slide.

ATHLETICS: Outfielder Josh Reddick was scratched from the lineup for the game against Kansas City because of complications from a tooth that was extracted on the team’s off day Monday.