Tim Lincecum cleared for next start after liner to shoulder

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Tim Lincecum took a line drive off the back of his right shoulder on the final pitch of his start last Wednesday, but the Giants insisted afterward that he could have remained in the game had he not already thrown 111 pitches and sure enough his next start will come right on schedule.
Lincecum threw his usual between-starts bullpen session yesterday and reported no problems, clearing him to face Roy Oswalt and the Astros tomorrow. Lincecum’s velocity is down and he’s been merely very good rather than his usual dominant self for the past month, so facing the Astros’ awful lineup will be a good test for the back-to-back reigning Cy Young winner.
He’s faced Houston twice already this season, going 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA, but both starts came before his stretch of non-dominance.

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.