Matthew Pouliot

Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez’s next start delayed by back issues

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Felix Hernandez won’t pitch again until next Wednesday after leaving Monday’s game with what was called a lower back cramp, MLB.com reports.

“He feels good and wants to start on Sunday, but we’re going to be cautious with him,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We want him to get some flat ground work, get another bullpen in. He understands. It’s really not going to affect how many starts he gets.”

Hernandez’s slim Cy Young chances have already died after four straight losses, including one Aug. 28 against the Rangers that ranks as one of the two or three worst starts of his career (9 R, 8 ER in 3 IP). His ERA has jumped from a American League-leading 2.44 to 3.01.

The Mariners are going with a six-man rotation this month, so they won’t need a replacement for Hernandez on Sunday.

Red Sox hit eight homers, destroy Tigers 20-4

David Ortiz
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The Red Sox overshadowed David Ortiz’s 2,000th career hit Wednesday, tying their franchise record with eight homers in a 20-4 drubbing of the Tigers.

Ortiz was a big part of the barrage, hitting two of the homers. His 2,000th hit, sandwiched in between the homers, was a double.

Ortiz became the 275th player, at least according to Baseball-reference’s leaderboard, to reach 2,000 hits. There are five designated hitters (guys who started at DH at least half of the time) ahead of him: Harold Baines (2,866), Frank Thomas (2,468), Edgar Martinez (2,247), Don Baylor (2,135) and Hal McRae (2,091).

Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Will Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava, Ryan Lavarnway and Mike Napoli also homered for the Red Sox tonight. It was the second eight-homer game in franchise history. The other came on July 4, 1977 against the Blue Jays. Among the players to homer in that one were Carl Yastrzemski, Fred Lynn (twice) and Jim Rice.

The Red Sox were the first team in three years to hit eight homers in a game. The last to do it was the Blue Jays on Aug. 7, 2010. Before that, the Yankees did it on July 31, 2007.

Pablo Sandoval hits three homers against Padres

Pablo Sandoval
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Pablo Sandoval won’t be having any three-homer games in the World Series this October, but he did accomplish the feat for the first time in the regular season Wednesday as the Giants crushed the Padres 13-5.

Sandoval had a modest 10 homers this season before taking three relievers deep tonight. He had a two-run shot off Brad Brach in the fifth, a solo homer off Brad Boxberger in the eighth and then a three-run bomb off Dale Thayer in the ninth.

The homers also gave him his first career six-RBI game.

Sandoval previously hit three homers in Game 1 of the World Series last year against the Tigers. He finished the postseason with six in 66 at-bats. This year, he had just two in 238 at-bats since the beginning of June.