ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Working on six days’ rest, Chris Sale followed up his worst start of the season with one of his best.
Sale allowed two hits and struck out 13 in eight innings, and the Boston Red Sox won their seventh straight, 2-0 over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night. Last Wednesday, Sale gave up seven runs in five innings against Cleveland.
“To be honest, I was flat-out embarrassed last time I was on a baseball field,” Sale said. “You have some added fuel when you don’t do so well your last time out. I wanted to come back and be good for this one.”
He was more than just good. Sale reached double digits in strikeouts for the 15th time this season, the first time that’s been done since Randy Johnson in 2002.
The win pushed Boston’s AL East lead over the New York Yankees to four games.
Dustin Pedroia, back in the Boston lineup as a DH after a stint on the disabled list, scored the first run on a fielder’s choice in the fourth. A bad throw by Austin Pruitt (6-3) prevented a possible inning-ending double play on Rafael Devers’ chopper to the mound.
It was the only run allowed by Pruitt in his fourth major league start.
The Rays were shut out for the third time in four games. The Brewers held them scoreless on Saturday and Sunday.
“We need to find a way to win when our pitchers do so well,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “The offense is going to get going. We ran into a little buzzsaw against Milwaukee, and Chris Sale is the biggest buzzsaw.”
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