Blue Jays stumped by Sale in loss to Red Sox
Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays slides but cannot catch a bloop RBI single by Eduardo Nunez of the Boston Red Sox in the sixth inning during MLB action at Rogers Centre on Aug. 29, 2017. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
With Chris Sale on the mound, the Boston Red Sox always have plenty of wind at their back. Sale proved that again on Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre.
The left-handed ace guided his Boston Red Sox to a 3-0 victory over the Blue Jays on the strength of a seven-inning, three-hit, 11 strike-out performance, spoiling a solid start by Toronto’s Brett Anderson, who was called up from triple-A Buffalo this week. Anderson gave the Jays 52/3 innings of six-hit, one-run ball.
“It was a great night for him,” Toronto manager John Gibbons of Anderson said. “It opened up a lot of eyes. I was impressed.”
“As far as my first start with a new team and back up in the Big Leagues (for the first time since May 6), I couldn’t really ask for much more,” Anderson said. “I was efficient, got early contact trying to get ground balls (which) I am accustomed to doing and hopefully I can have some good outings going forward. It was good getting off on the right foot. Unfortunately it was a loss but, all things considered, I’ll take it.
“I still think I’m really good pitcher when I’m healthy and able to go out there and do what I know I’m capable of,” Anderson added.
Jose Bautista and Steve Pearce both struck out three times against Sale, who was pulled for right-hander Addison Reed with two on and none out in the eighth. Reed kept Toronto off the scoreboard. Sale has not allowed a run in 22 innings in his three starts against Toronto this season, recording 35 strikeouts.
“He’s been doing that for a few years now,” said Gibbons of Sale. “He’s got that reputation, he’s got the results. We had that one shot in the eighth inning when we loaded bases. It’s two outs, it’s not easy. That was really our only shot.”
The Jays struck out 15 times in total. Boston runners stole five bases off Toronto catcher Miguel Montero.
In striking out Kevin Pillar in the second inning, Sale reached 1,500 strike outs in 1,290 innings, the fewest in MLB history. Kerry Wood reached 1,500 career strike outs in 1,303 innings pitched. Sale leads Major League Baseball with 264 strikeouts and with 17 double-digit strikeout efforts.
Boston first baseman Hanley Ramirez hit a solo home run in the seventh off reliever Dominic Leone.
The Red Sox got to Anderson in the sixth inning with two out when Eduardo Nunez slapped a ball to shallow right field with Rajai Davis at second. Bautista charged hard, but the ball flew past him, allowing Davis to score.
The Sox added to their lead in the eighth when Benintendi hit a single to right to score Rajai Davis from third.
Bautista made a great play to keep the Red Sox off the board in the top of the sixth when he gunned down Nunez at home with two out. The throw went down the third base line slightly but Montero was able to make the tag.