After nearly six weeks off, Denard Span has finally recovered from his concussion and has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Sunday.
He’ll be joined there on the same day by teammate Jason Kubel, who suffered a sprained right foot on May 30. Kubel originally began a rehab assignment two weeks ago, but he experienced a setback and was put back on the shelf.
The plan is for Kubel to spend a few days at Rochester and rejoin the Twins next weekend. Span, though, will probably be on limited activity at first and could spend two weeks in the minors even if everything goes according to plan.
The return of both will give the Twins a tough call to make on Ben Revere. Revere, co-winner of AL Rookie of the Month honors with Jemile Weeks for June, has slumped of late and is down to .269/.307/.302 for the season. The Twins like the way he’s played center field, and one could argue they’d be better off with him playing regularly than with defensive liability Delmon Young in left field, but he might get shipped back to Triple-A anyway.
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.