Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine mentioned earlier this afternoon that David Ortiz could be activated from the disabled list as soon as this weekend against the Twins, but odds are that’s not going to happen.
According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Ortiz did some light jogging while the Red Sox were taking batting practice this afternoon and estimated that his strained right Achilles tendon is at about “50-60 percent.” He added that he likely won’t do “power running” for another few days, which essentially rules out the chance that he’ll return this weekend.
“It feels better,” Ortiz said. “The (trainers) were a little surprised about how I was moving compared to when we tried in New York. Like the doctors and trainers say, I’m not going to be 100 percent when I come back to play. But when we start doing the power drills and once I start feeling better, I think I’ll be ready to go.”
Ortiz was in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak prior to suffering the injury while running the bases on July 16 against the White Sox. The 36-year-old slugger is batting .316/.414/.609 with 23 home runs, 58 RBI and a 1.024 OPS in 89 games played this season. The Red Sox have shuffled multiple players out of the DH spot during his absence, including Cody Ross tonight against Twins’ right-hander Samuel Deduno.
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.