Heyman: Joe Girardi tried to spare A-Rod’s feelings in playoffs

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Sources told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that Yankees manager Joe Girardi had a special request for the Yankee Stadium PA announcer when he removed Alex Rodriguez from postseason games: he had Rodriguez’s name omitted from the switch.

Rodriguez was pulled for a pinch-hitter three times in his six postseason starts. Raul Ibanez, of course, homered in his place in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Orioles. Eric Chavez hit for him in Game 4 of that series and in Game 1 of the ALCS versus the Tigers.

All of those games were at home, so Girardi could dictate the PA’s announcement. When A-Rod was removed in favor of Ibanez, his name was announced, as is typical. His name was left out of the pinch-hitting announcement the two times afterwards.

GM Brian Cashman confirmed to Heyman that Girardi made the call in order to protect A-Rod’s feelings. Which is really pretty nice of him. It also illustrates how ridiculous the rumors were that the Yankees were trying to humiliate Rodriguez because they wanted him two waive his no-trade clause.

Mike Moustakas sets Royals single-season record with 37th home run

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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.

Chris Sale records his 300th strikeout this season

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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.