07/22 17:43 CDT Sale shuts down Tigers in Boston's 9-1 victory
Sale shuts down Tigers in Boston's 9-1 victory
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) --- Chris Sale is drawing comparisons from his manager to another
"He's reminding me a lot of Randy --- Randy Johnson," Boston manager Alex Cora
said. "The thing with Randy, it looked like he was always grinding. With (Sale)
it looks effortless right now."
Sale struck out nine in six scoreless innings, and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a
three-run homer to lift the Red Sox to a 9-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on
Sunday. Sale allowed two hits, lowered his ERA to an American League-best 2.13
and won his sixth straight decision.
The Red Sox are 19-4 in their last 23 games, and the AL East leaders cruised
through the finale of this series after scoring just one run in the previous
twonights at Detroit.
Blaine Hardy (3-3) allowed four runs and five hits in three-plus innings.
Jeimer Candelario homered for the Tigers in the seventh.
Sale (11-4) has won each of his last five starts, allowing one run in 33
innings in that span. He had gone five straight starts with at least 11
strikeouts --- and only one walk in each --- but that streak came to an end
when he was lifted Sunday after 99 pitches.
"I feel good. I feel like a broken record sometimes, but we scored nine runs
today?" Sale said. "You get a padded lead like that, you can kind of dig in and
just try to find a groove and keep going."
Boston scored twice in the second on RBI groundouts by Rafael Devers and
Eduardo Nunez, then the Red Sox broke the game open in the fourth.
With men on second and third and nobody out, Devers hit a grounder to first
baseman John Hicks, who immediately threw home --- only to have Steve Pearce,
the Boston runner at third, stay put. Devers reached on that fielder's choice,
loading the bases.
"That's an instinct play, and you know the situation. We've got our backup
catcher playing first base," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He needs to
look around and figure out what's happening before he makes that throw, but he
feels like the runner is going to go on that ball."
Drew VerHagen came on to relieve Hardy, and Nunez greeted him with an RBI
single off the glove of Candelario, the third baseman. Xander Bogaerts, the
runner on second, held up when he made it to third, but Devers --- who had
started the play on first --- nearly reached third himself before stopping
because Bogaerts was still there. Devers was tagged out .
The Red Sox weren't hurt much by that baserunning mishap. Bradley followed with
his seventh homer of the year, giving Boston a 6-0 lead.
Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run triple in the seventh, and J.D. Martinez added
a sacrifice fly.
The game was delayed 1 hour, 35 minutes at the start because of rain.
Candelario was impressive even in the lopsided defeat. He battled Sale through
21 pitches in two plate appearances, finally grounding out to third both times.
His homer came off reliever Brandon Workman.
"He was a pain," Sale said. "Put good at-bats together, and obviously later in
the game ran into one. I don't know what I was doing or what he was doing, but
I need to figure something out."
Red Sox: 2B Brock Holt sat out a second straight game after exiting Friday
night with a bruised knee.
Boston heads to Baltimore for a three-game series. Rick Porcello (11-4) takes
the mound for the Red Sox on Monday night against Kevin Gausman (4-7).
The Tigers travel for a three-game set at Kansas City. Detroit's Francisco
Liriano (3-5) starts the opener Monday night against Heath Fillmyer (0-1).
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