Halladay and Lincecum named All-Star starters

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Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum have been chosen to start tomorrow
night’s All-Star game and both managers revealed their lineups this
morning:

   AMERICAN LEAGUE                 NATIONAL LEAGUE
1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF 1. Hanley Ramirez, SS
2. Derek Jeter, SS 2. Chase Utley, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C 3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Mark Teixeira, 1B 4. Ryan Braun, RF
5. Jason Bay, LF 5. Raul Ibanez, LF
6. Josh Hamilton, CF 6. David Wright, 3B
7. Evan Longoria, 3B 7. Shane Victorino, CF
8. Aaron Hill, 2B 8. Yadier Molina, C
9. Roy Halladay, SP 9. Tim Lincecum, SP

Lincecum is the reigning Cy Young winner and ranks second in ERA
this year, so he’s the easy pick to start for the NL. Halladay isn’t
quite as much of a slam dunk for the AL, because Zack Greinke was the
league’s best pitcher during the first half, but Halladay wasn’t far
behind and has been one of the league’s elite pitchers for a decade
now. All in all, it’s a great pairing.

Shane Victorino goes from being added via the “Final Vote” process
to starting in place of the injured Carlos Beltran, because with Raul
Ibanez and Ryan Braun in the corners the NL outfield needed someone
actually capable of chasing down fly balls in the gaps. It’s
interesting to note how much more power the NL has in the first three
spots in the lineup.

Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter, and Joe Mauer have combined for 31
homers in 1,044 plate appearances, and that’s with Mauer already
setting a career-high in long balls. Hanley Ramirez, Chase Utley, and
Albert Pujols have combined for 66 homers in 1,111 plate appearances.
On the other hand, Aaron Hill has 20 homers and ranks second in the
league in total bases, yet is batting eighth for the AL.

Albert Pujols hit his 597th career home run

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Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.

Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.

Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.

Chris Sale’s streak of starts with at least 10 strikeouts ends

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.

After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.

Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.