Marlins righty Carlos Zambrano entered Saturday’s start against the Rays with a superb 2.81 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. By the time his 2 1/3 innings were done, his ERA was 3.55 and his WHIP was 1.18.
Big Z surrendered seven earned runs on five hits and three walks to Tampa Bay before exiting in the third inning with stiffness in his lower back.
Beat writer Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says Zambrano was wearing an ice pack in the clubhouse at Marlins Park before he took the mound, so perhaps the Fish should have seen this one coming. And it’s safe to wonder whether they’ll now be forced to place the 31-year-old starter on the 15-day disabled list.
Zambrano missed a little over two weeks last season with the Cubs because of back discomfort.
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.
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.