Last time we saw Chris Sale take the mound, the Cleveland Indians gave him a ton of trouble in his shortest and worst start of the season. On Tuesday, Sale looked to bounce back against a team he has owned this year, and that is exactly what he did. In the seven plus innings the lefty pitched, the Blue Jays reached base a total of three times, and two of those were in the eighth. As the title reads, Sale struck out eleven Blue Jays, and one of those were pretty historic. With one out in the bottom of the second, Kevin Pillar struck out looking on three pitches, giving Sale 1,500 career punch outs. He passes Kerry Wood for the quickest number of innings to reach that milestone with only 1,290 needed.
Oddly enough, Sale has yet to face the Jays at Fenway, but in the three starts he’s made at the Rogers Centre, he has been outstanding. Racking up 22 innings in three starts, Sale did not allow a single run on eleven total hits and 35(!) strikeouts. With the work the bullpen has had to do recently, Sale came out to start the eighth, but could not record an out after facing two batters. This made way for Addison Reed, and he got out of the inning damage free despite giving up a single. With a three run lead going into the bottom half of the ninth, Craig Kimbrel came in the day after allowing two earned runs, but he bounced back from that with a 1-2-3 inning, collecting his 31st save of the season. Reed and Kimbrel have both been used in three straight games, so don’t expect to see them anytime tonight.
Offensively, the Red Sox saw Brett Anderson, a good follow on Twitter, make the start for the Blue Jays. Anderson couldn’t even make it through the sixth inning, but he was far from bad. They could have scored in the top of the first, but Jose Bautista threw out Eduardo Nunez at home plate to end the inning. Nunez would redeem himself later though, driving in Rajai Davis from second on an RBI double in the sixth, scoring the only run the Red Sox needed. In the seventh, Hanley Ramirez launched his team-leading twentieth home run of the season, so at least he has that going for him. That made it 2-0, and Andrew Benintendi tacked on another in the eighth, driving in Rajai Davis on an RBI single, his 72nd of the season. Like I said, the Red Sox only needed one run, but it was nice to see guys like Hanley, Davis, and Benintendi get involved as well.
Two wins in a row after a four-game losing streak, and Rick Porcello will look to complete the sweep later tonight.
Also, he’s been here for like a week but welcome to the Red Sox, Rajai Davis…
75 down, 20 to go.