Francisco Cervelli nearing return from broken left foot

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Initially given a 4-8 week recovery timetable after breaking his left foot on March 2, backup catcher Francisco Cervelli could be close to returning to the Yankees after catching six innings in an extended spring training game.

Joe Girardi said yesterday that “everything is going according to plan” with Cervelli’s rehab and Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com reports that he “could return to the Yankees in as little as 10 days.”

Cervelli got just a handful of spring training at-bats before the injury, so he’ll need to go out on a minor-league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list. Russell Martin is playing well enough that he doesn’t have to worry about losing significant playing time to Cervelli, who would instead resume backup duties while pushing Gustavo Molina off the roster.

Mike Moustakas sets Royals single-season record with 37th home run

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Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.

The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.

Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.

Chris Sale records his 300th strikeout this season

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.

Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.

Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.