Rick Porcello gets raise to $3.1 million, bypassing arbitration with Tigers

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Arbitration eligible for the first time, Rick Porcello has avoided a hearing by signing a one-year deal with the Tigers.

Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Porcello will get $3.1 million after making $1.5 million last season as part of the major-league contract he signed after being drafted out of high school by the Tigers in 2007.

Porcello has followed up a strong rookie season with back-to-back underwhelming years, including a 4.75 ERA and 104/46 K/BB ratio in 182 innings last season. He’s still just 23 years old, but the right-hander has managed only 4.7, 4.6, and 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings through three seasons while allowing opponents to hit .283 off him.

Because he qualifies as a “Super-Two” player Porcello has four arbitration seasons instead of the usual three, so he’s under the Tigers’ control through 2015 and they can hold off on any thoughts of a long-term extension.

UPDATE: Beck reports that the Tigers have also agreed to a one-year deal with arbitration-eligible left-hander Phil Coke.

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.