The Braves finally got a dose of favorable injury news on Saturday afternoon when left-handed starter Mike Minor made a one-plus inning appearance in the organization’s “Future Stars” game. Minor was expected to pitch longer, but his day was cut short by a 24-minute rain delay in the top of the second.
It was his first time throwing in a live game since the end of 2013. He had surgery in December to repair scarring in his urethra and came down with shoulder soreness near the beginning of spring camp.
“It felt good to actually play in a game without the L-screen,” Minor told MLB.com. “It felt good. … The game atmosphere of everything rolling, umpires and guys behind me playing defense, it felt good.”
The 26-year-old posted an excellent 3.21 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 181/46 K/BB ratio across 204 2/3 innings last season for the Braves. He is expected to join Atlanta’s starting rotation by the end of April.
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.