Nationals’ Chris Marrero suffers torn hamstring in winter ball

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Nationals first baseman Chris Marrero tore his left hamstring while playing in the Dominican winter league earlier this month and could miss the entire season, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.

Marrero repeatedly said that he doesn’t expect to miss all of 2012, but Ladson reports that the hamstring was torn off the bone and surgery was required. At the very least he seems highly unlikely to be ready for spring training, which could put the Nationals in the market for first base help with Adam LaRoche also a health question mark.

Ladson floats Mark DeRosa as a possible target and of course if the Nationals’ reported interest in Prince Fielder is real that would certainly address the first base situation in a big way. LaRoche is under contract for $8 million, but missed all but 43 games because of shoulder problems.

Mike Moustakas sets Royals single-season record with 37th home run

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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.

Chris Sale records his 300th strikeout this season

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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.