Ho-hum: Mark Buehrle was called for two balks last night

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And you’ll never guess who the umpiring crew was. That’s right. Joe West’s crew. As you probably remember, West ejected Buehrle and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen after he called the left-hander for two balks in May. He was later fined for his actions.

While West didn’t call any of the balks himself this time — first base umpire Dan Bellino called the first one and home plate umpire Angel Hernandez called the second — West was stationed at third base.

Buehrle didn’t have a tough time putting two and two together, according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com.

“I don’t know. I’ve got four balks — and they’re all against this
crew,” Buehrle said. “I’ve looked at the replay, and you look at side
angles. We’ve got cameras from every angle. I stepped the same, just
like I do every time.”

Buehrle managed to stay in the game this time, but White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected after arguing the second balk call with Hernandez. He even had some words with West on the way out.

“I wish I was in Venezuela. I could say whatever I want,” Guillen said.
“But I’ve got to protect my players. I never thought it was a balk, but
when they called the balk you have to respect that. But this is my job,
to go there and protect them. I will do anything to protect my players.
That’s what I do best.”

I have a feeling this isn’t the last we have heard of this situation. My only regret is that we didn’t get to hear Hawk Harrelson doing the play-by-play of this game. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to settle for this amazing soundboard.

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.