Rangers “going after” free agent slugger Manny Ramirez

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On Thursday, Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes filed a report claiming that free agent Manny Ramirez would likely sign with a new team by the beginning of next week.  Now T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com is reporting that the Rangers are “going after” him.

A couple of other clubs have been linked to Ramirez, including the Angels, Blue Jays and Rays.  But Anaheim may prefer to give Vladimir Guerrero another try and the Rays are nearing an agreement with Johnny Damon.  If the Rangers really want Manny, Toronto looks to be their only competition.

And the Jays haven’t been overly aggressive to this point.

The Rangers committed to starting Michael Young at DH when they signed a big free agent deal with third baseman Adrian Beltre earlier this winter, but they can get Young more action at first base and move Mitch Moreland to a part-time role if Ramirez is brought aboard.

Manny posted a strong .870 OPS across 320 total plate appearances last season between the Dodgers and White Sox.  He still has some power and it could be showcased well at the Ballpark in Arlington if the 38-year-old is truly motivated.  He currently boasts a .315/.418/.486 career line at the cozy stadium.

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.