Sale fans 11 to help Red Sox end slide
SEATTLE — When Chris Sale woke up Wednesday, he was unaware the Red Sox were on a four-game losing streak.
“I actually fell asleep before the end of it. I woke up this morning and heard the news,” Sale said of Boston’s 13-inning loss the previous night.
Just a few hours later, Sale was brilliant, pitching seven innings of
three-hit ball in a 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners that featured a home run by 20-year-old Rafael Devers, who became the youngest
Boston player to hit a home run in more than 50 years.
The Red Sox got exactly what they needed from their ace to avoid being swept. He struck out 11, the 14th time this season he reached double digits. Sale allowed doubles to Jean Segura and Guillermo Heredia, and a broken-bat single to Ben Gamel, but none of the three to reach base via hit ever advanced.
“It’s deception, it’s angle. He does a lot of things well,” Gamel said.
Sale (13-4) has struck out at least nine batters in each of his 12 road starts this season, the longest streak dating to 1913. He’s won five of his last six decisions and became the first American League pitcher with 13 wins.
In two starts on Boston’s trip, Sale allowed seven hits in 13 innings and struck out 20.
“We’re watching one of the better years ever pitched by a major league pitcher in the American League,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “We’re fortunate it’s in our uniform.”
A day after his major league debut, Devers led off the third inning by sending a 2-1 fastball from starter Andrew Moore out to center field for his first hit in the majors. At 20 years and 275 days old, Devers was the youngest Red Sox player to homer since Tony Conigliaro in September 1965. Devers added a single in the seventh inning.
“It was surreal. When I got back to the dugout I could barely walk to be honest with you,” Devers said through an interpreter. “I was just so happy about it. It was just a good moment.”
Moore (1-3) was solid, but the long ball was his problem. Along with Devers’ shot, Moore gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Sandy Leon in the fourth inning.
“He’s learning. Certainly, I like his competitiveness. He just didn’t have that pitch to finish them today and the home run ball got him,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said of Moore. “I do like the way he’s able to make adjustments in-game, he’s done that a number of times.”