Manny Acta is fired

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We knew this was going to happen, we just thought it was going to happen sooner:

In the middle of his third season as manager, Manny Acta has been
fired by the Washington Nationals, a source with knowledge of the
situation said tonight. Asked in an e-mail about his job status, Acta
replied, simply, “Thanks for everything.” Acta’s Nationals made it to
the all-star break with a 26-61 record, worst in the majors, finishing
with six losses in their last seven games. During the first half,
Acta’s job status was the subject of much debate, and those in and out
of the organization questioned whether his unfailingly patient approach
matched the needs of a sloppy, error-prone team.

Overall, this is just the latest of several de-Bowdenification moves GM
Mike Rizzo has made with this team. It’s a good move. Acta, for all of
his potential, has not seemed at all inspired in the past few months
and some fresh air is needed. And now is as good a time as any to do
it, mostly because his replacement — who, if previous speculation is
accurate, could be bench coach Jim Riggleman, on an interim basis —
will have a day or two to get his head about him before taking over.

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.