The Indians originally hoped to have Grady Sizemore in their lineup by now, but the 29-year-old has encountered numerous setbacks following knee and back surgeries. While he was finally able to do some running earlier this month, ESPN’s Buster Olney passes along word that his progress has stalled once again.
The Indians surprised many by bringing Sizemore back on a one-year, $5 million deal during the offseason and now it appears they may get nothing for their investment.
Michael Brantley has at least emerged as a productive regular in center field, but 38-year-old Johnny Damon entered today’s action hitting just .221/.291/.349 with four home runs and a .641 OPS over 182 plate appearances. Of course, he’s also far from an ideal option defensively in left field. With Sizemore nowhere close to returning, the Indians figure to be in the mix to acquire an upgrade for their outfield in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
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.