I punted the recap of the Rays-Royals game this morning in favor of talking about my kids, so let’s make up for it. Short version: the Rays remain en fuego.
Longer version: did someone catch the plate of that truck that ran over Luke Hochevar (2.2 IP, 11 H, 9 ER, 2 BB, 1K)? Back-to-back triples for Jason Bartlett Carl Crawford in the five-run second inning. Crawford added two doubles and a single to fall a dinger short of the cycle. And then there was the Reid Brignac attack (2 for 5, 3 RBI).
But it wasn’t all offense. Matt Garza had great stuff last night, striking out nine Royals in six innings, and the bullpen — led by an impressive Joaquin Benoit — shut KC out for the final three frames.
Tampa Bay is 17-5. The season is less than a month old, but the Rays have a 2.5 game lead on the Yankees and the Red Sox are six games back in the rear view mirror.
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.
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.