After numerous setbacks, Shane Victorino starts another rehab assignment

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Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino started (or, more accurately, re-started) a minor-league rehab assignment yesterday at Single-A, going 0-for-2 with two strikeouts at the plate and playing five innings defensively in right field.

Victorino has been on the disabled list since mid-May with a strained hamstring, but back problems repeatedly derailed his recovery process and have now taken over as the primary issue for rehabbing. He could be cleared to rejoin the Red Sox’s lineup shortly after the All-Star break, but will have to stay setback free while playing a full nine innings in the minors first and that hasn’t happened yet.

Victorino was one of the Red Sox’s best all-around players last season, playing good defense with 21 steals and an OPS above .800, but this season at age 33 he hit just .242 with one homer and a .627 OPS in 21 games before going on the shelf.

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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.