Phillies “have done background work on Carlos Quentin”

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Carlos Beltran is apparently off the market and the Astros reportedly backed out of a near-deal for Hunter Pence, so the Phillies have turned their attention to … Carlos Quentin.

According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, at least. He says the Phillies “have done background work on Quentin” as they look for a right-handed-hitting outfielder.

Quentin is terrible defensively and has a modest .254 career batting average, but he’s also averaged 32 homers per 150 games during the past four seasons while producing a strong .864 OPS. By comparison, Jayson Werth had an .885 OPS in his four seasons with the Phillies.

Obviously the White Sox are open for business on the trade front and rumors about them shopping Quentin have been around since last season, so if the Phillies feel the price tags for Beltran and Pence are too high he certainly makes for an interesting fallback option. Quentin is under team control through next season via arbitration, so he wouldn’t be a two-month rental.

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.