The Astros may be sold soon

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Back in November, Astros owner Drayton McLane said that he was going to sell the Astros. On Friday he told MLB.com that he has made “substantial inroads” toward selling the team, with one of the three possible suitors being a familiar name: Houston businessman Jim Crane.

You may recall that Crane — along with Mark Cuban — came very close to snatching the Rangers away from Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan last summer.  As such, the first question that springs to mind in hearing Crane’s name mentioned is whether Cuban is also involved.  There have been no reports to that effect since this report surfaced on Friday, however. And it is worth noting that Crane has not required Cuban’s capital to get involved in bidding on sports teams before. Indeed, Crane came very close to buying the Astros when McLane was shopping the team following the 2008 season, but that deal fell through for nebulous reasons.

No one is sure who the other two ownership candidates McLane mentioned are. But Crane is local and that sort of thing usually sits well the types who can help or hinder deals like this. Given that his name has spilled out — and given that in-depth profiles are already being written about him in the local press — you kinda have to figure that he’s the front runner, no?

And yes, I know that this isn’t the current Astros logo, but I like it much, much better. Crane or whoever next owns the Astros can’t bring it back as such — they no longer play in the dome after all — but the orange and blue should come back, as should the caps with the “H” in the middle of the star. Because those things are Right and True.

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.