Hanley Ramirez batted second or third in the Marlins’ lineup for each of his 47 starts prior to landing on the disabled list with back problems, but Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that he’ll return from the DL tomorrow as Florida’s leadoff man.
Ramirez has been out since May 30 and the Marlins have dropped 13 of 16 games, falling to third place in the NL East at 32-32.
Prior to his being shut down with back pain so severe it kept Ramirez from being able to tie his shoes the Marlins were winning despite his hitting just .210 with four homers and a .615 OPS that’s 275 points below his career norm.
Ramirez told Spencer that his back “is better now” and explained that he’d be fine leading off, saying: “I love it. Anything for the team. It doesn’t matter. I’ll be 9, 8, 7, I just want to be out there.” About half of his career starts have come in the leadoff spot, where Ramirez has hit .311 with a .925 OPS while scoring 333 runs in 400 games.
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.
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.