David Ortiz exits game with back spasms

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Here’s some potentially bad news for the reeling Red Sox.

Brian McPherson of the Providence Journal reports that David Ortiz left tonight’s game against the Blue Jays due to back spasms. Ortiz was in the original starting lineup as the designated hitter, but Jed Lowrie pinch-hit for him in the bottom of the first inning.

The good news is that Ortiz didn’t aggravate his heel injury from last month, but the Red Sox obviously can’t afford to be without one of their best hitters as they attempt to hold off the pesky Rays in the Wild Card race.

By the way, Tim Wakefield is currently making his eighth attempt at his 200th career victory. After the Red Sox scored two in the bottom of the first, Wakefield gave it right back by allowing a three-run homer to J.P. Arencibia in the top of the second inning.

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.