Tony La Russa: “I’m embarrassed that I crossed the line”

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MLB slapped Tony La Russa with an undisclosed fine yesterday for his in-game remarks about the umpiring in Game 2 and the Cardinals manager quietly accepted his punishment, saying he had “no disagreement at all” with the decision.

According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch the fine was “four figures” after La Russa questioned the strike zone during a between-innings dugout interview with TBS. Here’s what La Russa said about the punishment:

As soon as MLB called, my response was, “Whatever is imposed, you’ll get no argument.” I’m embarrassed that I crossed the line. I know what the line is. I got upset and I crossed the line. If I get a chance, I will apologize to [umpire] Jerry [Meals]. Like I said, I’ve never had any problems with him. He’s a pro. He has my utmost respect. We were competing, and I got upset and crossed the line. So whatever they throw at me I … just take it. I deserve it.

Coming back from an early deficit to win Game 2 probably made accepting the fine a little easier for La Russa, particularly since he prefaced his criticism of Jerry Meals by saying it “could get me in trouble.” Either way, he deserves credit for taking the high road.

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.