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Whit Merrifield sets new Royals record with 31-game hitting streak

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On Tuesday, Royals outfielder Whit Merrifield extended his hitting streak to 30 games — dating back to last season, of course — with a first-inning triple against the Mariners. That matched Hall of Famer George Brett for the Royals record.

Hitless in his first three at-bats on Wednesday against the Mariners, Merrifield set the new Royals record with a bunt single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Terrance Gore had just hit a two-out RBI single. Merrifield laid down a bunt on the left side, plating Gore to tie the game up at 5-5.

Merrifield entered Wednesday’s action batting .349/.378/.558 with five extra-base hits and three stolen bases in 45 plate appearances. His 31-game hitting streak is baseball’s longest since Dan Uggla hit in 33 consecutive games in 2011 with the Braves.

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

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Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.

Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.