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Justin Verlander sets new career-high with 15 strikeouts

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Astros starter Justin Verlander set a new career-high on Wednesday, striking out 15 Brewers across seven innings. Surprisingly, Verlander had never struck out 15 batters in a game before. He struck out 14 on four different occasions, including twice last year.

The only other pitchers to have struck out at least 15 in a game this season are Chris Sale (17), Shane Bieber (15), and Max Scherzer (15).

Verlander served up three runs, all on solo homers (to Ryan Braun, Yasmani Grandal, and Eric Thames), accounting for three of the four hits he allowed. He walked none across his seven frames before giving way to the bullpen. The game went into extra innings tied at 3-3.

After Wednesday’s effort, Verlander holds a 2.50 ERA with 125 strikeouts and 19 walks in 100 2/3 innings on the season. With a month remaining, he is making a strong case to start the All-Star Game for the American League. However, Jake Odorizzi (1.92), Charlie Morton (2.10), and Lucas Giolito (2.28) have better ERAs at the moment.

White Sox sign José Abreu to a three-year contract extension

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Yesterday the Chicago White Sox made a big signing of a new player, locking up catcher Yasmani Grandal for four years. Today they’ve made another big splash, re-signed current White Sox star José Abreu to a three-year, $50 million contract extension.

Abreu had already accepted the team’s qualifying offer last week so he was ensured of staying in Chicago for 2020, but now they’ll tear that up and replace it with this pact, adding two more years.

Abreu, who turns 33 before spring training, is coming off a 2019 season in which he posted a line of .284/.330/.503 with 33 home runs and 123 RBI. He has spent his entire major league career in Chicago, putting up a line of .293/.349/.513 and socking 179 homers in six seasons.