Rangers reliever-turned-starter-turned-reliever Neftali Feliz made his 2013 debut against the Twins this afternoon, recording five outs, surrendering just one hit and recording two strikeouts. He came on in relief of starter Travis Blackley with two outs in the fifth. Against Darin Mastroianni, Feliz showcased all four of his pitches, including a fastball that touched 94 MPH, about the same level where it was last year.
Feliz went on the disabled list with an elbow injury last year after a start against the Astros on May 18. He underwent Tommy John surgery on August 1. Prior to his injury, he had compiled a 3.16 ERA in 42.2 innings spanning seven starts and one relief appearance.
The Rangers couldn’t muster much of an offensive attack as Twins starter Kevin Correia pitched seven solid innings. Reliever Jared Burton surrendered a solo home run to A.J. Pierzynski in the bottom of the eighth, but that was all. Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to notch his 32nd save of the season.
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.
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.