Dice-K releases statement about neck issue

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matsuzaka posing.JPGDaisuke Matsuzaka would not talk to reporters about his neck discomfort Saturday, but he did issue a short statement through a team spokesperson.  Here it is, via the Boston Globe:

“I didn’t throw live BP today due to stiffness in my neck. As for my
schedule going forward, I’m going to see how I feel tomorrow, meet with
the coaching staff and decide at that point.”

The 29-year-old right-hander failed to complete a scheduled live batting practice session on Saturday due to neck stiffness and is almost certain to miss the start of the regular season.  It’s another disappointing setback for a guy in desperate need of a turn-around performance in 2010.  He made just 12 starts last season and finished with an ugly 4-6 record on top of an even uglier 5.76 ERA.  It’s not known when he will be ready to compete again, but chances are we won’t see him until late April or even May.

Mike Moustakas sets Royals single-season record with 37th home run

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Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.

The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.

Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.

Chris Sale records his 300th strikeout this season

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.

Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.

Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.