Right-hander James Shields, 36, has felt so good physically this season that he’s talking about pitching two or three more.
‘‘As long as my body holds up,’’ said Shields, who has had no injury issues after a tough year physically in 2017.
Shields has made 401 starts, pitched 2,593 innings and struck out 2,221 batters in 13 seasons, which leaves two of his goals within reach if he can pitch two or three more seasons.
‘‘Three thousand innings and 2,500 strikeouts have always been goals of mine,’’ Shields said.
Shields will make his team-high 30th start Saturday against the Angels.
‘‘I’ve prided myself on going to the post every fifth day,’’ he said.
Shields, who has been an effective innings-eater despite less velocity because of a lower arm slot, is a disappointing — to him — 6-15 with a 4.39 ERA. It’s safe to say it doesn’t make sense for the Sox to pick up his $16 million option for 2019, but it’s also reasonable to assume he’ll find another team to pitch for at a lower cost next season.
Abreu a Clemente nominee
First baseman Jose Abreu was honored as the Sox’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award before the game. The award recognizes the player who best represents baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and contributions on and off the field.
‘‘Those are the things that make you feel proud and honored,’’ Abreu said through a translator.
On the mend
Right-hander Dane Dunning, the No. 6-ranked Sox prospect by MLB Pipeline, hasn’t pitched since June 23 because of a strained right elbow. He’s on a throwing program, but indications are he won’t pitch in the Arizona Fall League.
‘‘Everything on Dane right now is optimistic,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said. ‘‘Knock on wood, I don’t want to say things like that, but everything is very positive, and surgery’s not being discussed at this time.’’
Dunning, who was acquired from the Nationals with right-handers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in the trade for outfielder Adam Eaton, has impressed with his four-pitch mix and strike-throwing ability. He had a 2.71 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 86 1/3 innings between Class A Winston-Salem and Class AA Birmingham this season.
Outfielder Avisail Garcia, who hasn’t played since Saturday, had his right knee re-evaluated and is doing better, manager Rick Renteria said.
‘‘It’s just a matter of him being able to manage some of the discomfort that comes with his knee,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘Hopefully you’ll see him back in there in the next day or so.’’
Big-league balls different?
Right-hander Ian Hamilton said he has noticed a different feel to the baseballs in his two appearances since being called up from Class AAA Charlotte.
‘‘I’ve just got to get used to how the ball feels,’’ Hamilton said. ‘‘They’re a little different than minor-league balls. Once I get comfortable with it, I’ll be able to do what I do.
‘‘It just feels more perfect, kind of, more circular. Everything’s tighter.’’