Josh Beckett throws simulated game, nears rehab assignment

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Out since mid-May with a strained lower back, Josh Beckett threw a two-inning, 41-pitch simulated game today at Fenway Park and reported no problems.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Beckett could be cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Tuesday, but the Red Sox still don’t expect him back in the rotation until after the All-Star break.
Beckett had a 7.29 ERA in 45.2 innings before being shut down, including back-to-back ugly outings against the Yankees, so the Red Sox will no doubt want to see him put together several solid starts in the minors and he’ll also need some time to stretch out his arm (and pitch count).

Kenley Jansen’s consecutive saves streak ends at 34

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Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.

Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.

After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.

Zach Britton sets American League record with 55th consecutive save

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Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.

Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.

Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.