Ibanez playing through abdominal tear that may require surgery

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Amid speculation that Chase Utley is playing through a foot injury, Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated reports that Raul Ibanez may need offseason surgery to repair a small muscle tear near his abdomen.
For the most part Ibanez has followed in Utley’s footsteps by refusing to speak about his health with the media, but Jenkins notes that he initially suffered the injury in June and opted against going under the knife after consulting with a surgeon and a neuromuscular specialist.
Ibanez was having a career-year at the time, hitting .312/.371/.656 with 22 homers and 59 RBIs in 62 games, but following a brief stint on the disabled list he finished the season by hitting just .232/.323/.448 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs in 72 games and has gone just 7-for-31 (.225) with one homer in nine playoff games.
Ibanez has predictably downplayed the injury, but saying stuff like “I’m fine right now” and “we’ll see what happens” can certainly be taken as hints that offseason surgery is on the docket for the 37-year-old and he’s still owed $11.5 million in each of the next two seasons.

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.