A.J. Pierzynski blames Gavin Floyd after White Sox allow five steals in loss

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Last night the Twins ran wild on the White Sox, stealing five bases in five attempts, and after the loss catcher A.J. Pierzynski put most of the blame on pitcher Gavin Floyd:

We all know where we stand with the running game when Gavin is out there. Everyone knows where we stand, and it’s just part of the game.

Floyd is incredibly easy to steal on, as runners are a perfect 15-for-15 off him this season and 105-for-121 (86.8 percent) for his career. However, the White Sox’s inability to control the running game extends well beyond last night and well beyond Floyd.

Chicago has allowed 61 steals in 69 games and is the only team in the league to throw out fewer than 20 percent of runners. And even that terrible rate is misleading, as a) Mark Buehrle has always been nearly impossible to run on, and b) eight of the team’s 14 caught stealings have come on pickoffs.

When the catcher actually has to make a throw, the White Sox have allowed 61 steals on 67 attempts for a throw-out rate of 9 percent. To put that in some context, the league-average throw-out rate is 29 percent. Take out Floyd and opponents are still 46-for-52 (88.4 percent) and Pierzynski’s throw-out percentages during seven seasons with the White Sox are 23, 22, 24, 18, 23, 26, and 20.

One-fifth of the time Buehrle shuts down the running game, one-fifth of the time opponents run wild on Floyd, and in the other three-fifths of the time opponents run at will on Pierzynski (and backup catcher Ramon Castro). There’s plenty of blame to go around.

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.