Lefty Sale Fans a Dozen in 5-0 Gem
BOSTON – (Staff and Wire Service Report) – Chris Sale fanned 12 over six scoreless innings Thursday while Rafael Devers and Mookie Betts homered as the host Boston Red Sox blanked the Toronto Blue Jays 5-0.
In upping his record to 4-9, Sale allowed only two hits and two walks, leaving after throwing 67 of his 101 pitches for strikes. Relievers Marcus Walden and Darwinzon Hernandez combined for three hitless innings as the Red Sox took three of four from Toronto, pulling within 2 1/2 games of Cleveland and Oakland for the American League’s second wild card spot.
Thomas Pannone (2-4) absorbed the loss for the Blue Jays, working 4 1/3 innings and allowing four runs off five hits and two walks. He struck out three.
Sale wasted no time putting his stamp on the game, striking out the side in the first and recording two more punchouts in each of the next three innings. The left-hander whiffed the side in the fifth, getting Freddy Galvis to flail at a third strike to strand a pair of runners.
To that point, Pannone matched Sale zero for zero, if not strikeout for strikeout. But Pannone’s time ran out in the fifth after he induced a popup from Andrew Benintendi to start the inning.
Sam Travis doubled to left and rode home on Sandy Leon’s RBI single to left-center. After Betts drew a walk, Devers ambushed a first-pitch fastball 417 feet to the seats behind the bullpens in right-center field, his 19th of the year. That knocked out Pannone and basically ended the game’s competitive phase.
It continued a huge season for Devers, who is hitting .325 and has knocked in 73 runs with an OPS of .942.
Betts tacked on Boston’s final run in the seventh when he clubbed his 14th homer, a 418-foot clout over the Green Monster in left-center off reliever Derek Law. Betts tied Ted Williams’ franchise mark from 1946 for the most consecutive games with a run score4d (single season) with 13.
Betts and Xander Bogaerts each collected two hits for the Red Sox, while Justin Smoak and Brandon Drury managed the only Toronto hits.
–Field Level Media