Roy Oswalt ready to rejoin Phillies’ rotation after rehab start

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Roy Oswalt made his second rehab start yesterday, throwing six innings of two-run ball at Triple-A, and afterward declared himself ready to return from the disabled list.

Oswalt has been out since June 24 with a lower back injury, but Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that his fastball was clocked in the low-90s yesterday and he threw 61 of 90 pitches for strikes.

He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session Thursday and, if all goes well, will likely rejoin the Phillies’ rotation Saturday or Sunday against the Giants.

Oswalt told Hagen that his back “feels great” and “I don’t have any more pain,” which is quite a change from the initial fears that the injury might motivate him to retire at age 33.

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.