Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw achieve strikeout milestones

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Mariners ace Felix Hernandez and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw each achieved a career strikeout milestone on Sunday.

Hernandez, with a fifth-inning strikeout of Sam Fuld, moved to 2,000 over his 11-year career. He’s the eighth pitcher in baseball history to join the 2,000-strikeout club before his 30th birthday, according to Baseball Reference. Hernandez entered the start a perfect 5-0 on the season with a 1.73 ERA and a 44/7 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings.

Kershaw, with a third-inning strikeout of Drew Stubbs, moved to 1,500 over his eight-year career. He’s one of 12 pitchers to rack up 1,500 strikeouts before his 28th birthday, per Baseball Reference. The lefty hasn’t quite had the results he’s looking for, owning a 1-2 record with a 3.73 ERA and a 51/7 K/BB ratio in 38 2/3 innings.

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Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.