Red Sox ace Chris Sale recorded his 14th 10-plus strikeout performance of the season Wednesday in a 4-0 win against the Mariners.
The American league Cy Young candidate tossed seven shutout innings with just three hits allowed and 11 strikeouts to improve to 13-4 with a 2.37 ERA this season.
Sale’s 14 10-plus strikeout outings are good for third-most in Red Sox history, trailing only Pedro Martinez’s 19 in 1999 and 15 in 2000. With a little over two months remaining in the regular season, Sale has a great chance to break that record.
At the plate, Boston was lifted by rookie third baseman Rafael Devers, who made his MLB debut Tuesday night. Devers, who went 2 for 4, hit his first-career home run in the third inning. The long shot traveled 427 feet, proving the 20-year-old has serious power.
The win, which snapped a four-game losing streak, helped the Red Sox maintain a narrow one-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East.
While Sale has been well worth the lofty price Boston paid to acquire him this offseason, he can’t pitch every night. The Red Sox need guys like David Price and Rick Porcello to step up their games if this team is going to reach its full potential.
Studs of the Night:
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, a home run and two RBIs in a 5-1 win against the Orioles. Starting pitcher Alex Cobb allowed just one run in seven innings, while striking out six batters, to improve to 9-6 with a 3.46 ERA this season.
The Diamondbacks’ newly-acquired outfielder J.D. Martinez continued to sizzle in the desert by launching two home runs with four RBIs in a 10-3 win against the Braves. The former Tigers slugger now has three home runs in his last three games.
Almost every Royals hitter enjoyed a special night in a 16-2 win against the Tigers, but first baseman Eric Hosmer really punished Detroit pitching. Hosmer went 5 for 6 with five runs scored, a home run (16), six RBIs (54) to raise his average to .319 for the season. Hosmer’s home run was a grand slam, his first in 78 career plate appearances with the bases loaded.
Duds of the Night:
Amid loud trade rumblings, Rangers ace Yu Darvish was torched for 10 earned runs in a 22-10 loss against the Marlins. Darvish gave up nine hits while striking out five batters to fall to 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA this season.
Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey allowed seven runs (five earned) off of 10 hits in a 9-5 loss against the Yankees. Bailey fell to 2-5 with an ugly 8.37 ERA on the season after the rough outing.
Brewers outfielder Domingo Santana launches one into orbit:
— MLB (@MLB) July 26, 2017
The home run was Santana’s 17th of the season, but Milwaukee still lost 8-5 to the Nationals after giving up seven runs in the eighth inning.
Rays (53-49) at Yankees (53-46) 7:05 p.m. ET — Strikeout extraordinaire Chris Archer (7-6, 3.77 ERA) will take the mound for Tampa Bay to face off against CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.44 ERA), who is quietly having a solid season. The AL East is wide open, but this four-game series could separate the contenders from the pretenders.