Clayton Kershaw scratched, might need hip surgery

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Clayton Kershaw was terrific while pitching with his sore hip Tuesday, but he wasn’t feeling well enough to give it another go Sunday against the Cardinals. The Dodgers scratched him today and announced that he’d see a specialist on Tuesday.

Stephen Fife will pitch in his place in the finale of a four-game series.

The Dodgers are concerned that Kershaw will need season-ending surgery to repair a labrum tear in his hip. If so, he’d be the third Dodgers starter lost for the season, joining Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly.

Kershaw’s absence leaves the Dodgers with a rotation of Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang and Joe Blanton. Fife would be mixed in when a fifth starter is needed. Even if the Dodgers do somehow limp int the postseason with that crew, they’d seem to be easy pickings for whomever they face.

Kershaw, the NL Cy Young Award winner last season, is 12-9 with a 2.70 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 206 2/3 innings this year.

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.