Red Sox

Sale bounces back with seven shutout innings as Sox beat Jays, 3-0

Sale bounces back with seven shutout innings as Sox beat Jays, 3-0

TORONTO -- Roughed up in Cleveland his last time out, Boston's Chris Sale couldn't wait to get back on the mound.

The down time between starts sure seemed to drag, however.

"It seemed like a month," Sale joked.

Maybe so, but it was definitely worth waiting for.

Sale and two relievers combined on a four-hitter, Hanley Ramirez hit a solo home run and the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Sale (15-6) fanned 11 in his ML-best 17th double-digit strikeout game, raising his league-leading total to 264. His 15 wins lead the AL.

The left-hander, who matched a season-worst by allowing seven runs in his previous outing, gave up just three hits in seven innings.

"Anytime you go out there and have a bad one, you want to get right back out there," Sale said. "As a competitor, that's what you want to do, you want to get back out there and right the ship."

Red Sox manager John Farrell credited his ace for "an outstanding effort."

"That was a vintage Chris Sale outing," Farrell said. "He was powerful, he threw a lot of strikes."

Sale has not allowed a run in 22 innings against the Blue Jays this season.

"He's got that reputation, he's got the results," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

After Toronto DH Kendrys Morales hit a one-out double in the second inning, Sale retired 17 consecutive batters before Morales singled to begin the eighth.

Kevin Pillar chased Sale with a single, and Addison Reed came on to strike out pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera and Miguel Montero. Ryan Goins singled to load the bases for Steve Pearce, but he grounded into a fielder's choice.

"Reeder was huge there in that eighth inning," Sale said. "I left him in a dumpster fire right there."

Craig Kimbrel finished for his 31st save in 35 chances.

Toronto has lost 9 of 11.

Sale caught Pillar looking at strike three in the second for the 1,500th strikeout of his career. Sale reached the milestone in 1,290 innings, quicker than any other pitcher. Kerry Wood did it in 1,303 innings.

"It's hard for me to fathom that a guy can record that many strikeouts in less than 1,300 innings," Farrell said. "Really remarkable."

Even Sale considered his achievement "pretty crazy."

"This game has been around a long time," he said. "To do that, it's cool. I appreciate it. I try not to get too caught up in it but I definitely take a step back and look at that and appreciate it."

Promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to make his first start for the Blue Jays, left-hander Brett Anderson (2-3) allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings

"I thought he was tremendous," Gibbons said. "It was a great night for him. Opened a lot of eyes."

Boston's Eduardo Nunez doubled in the first and tried to score on a two-out single by Mookie Betts, but was thrown out at home plate by right fielder Jose Bautista.

After Morales doubled in the second, Sale and Anderson combined to retire 22 consecutive batters before Boston's Rajai Davis hit a two-out single in the sixth. Davis stole second and scored the game's first run when Nunez blooped an RBI double past a sliding Bautista, who failed to make a backhanded catch.

Anderson left after Andrew Benintendi followed with an infield single. Dominic Leone came on and retired Betts to end the inning.

"As far as my first start with a new team, I couldn't really ask for much more," Anderson said.

Ramirez hit a two-out drive off Leone in the sixth, his 20th.


In three starts against Toronto this season, Sale has struck out 35 while walking two.


Anderson is the 14th pitcher to start for the Blue Jays this season, the most in team history. Toronto used 13 starting pitchers in 1979, 2002, and 2013.


Red Sox: LHP David Price (left elbow) is expected to throw off the mound Wednesday. Price last threw from the mound July 22, allowing six runs in five innings in a start against the Los Angeles Angels. ... 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee) ran the bases and will do so again Wednesday. If all goes well, Pedroia hopes to return during Boston's upcoming series with the New York Yankees.


Toronto optioned RHP Leonel Campos to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for Anderson and granted OF Nori Aoki his unconditional release. RHP T.J. House cleared waivers and was assigned to Buffalo.


Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (8-15, 4.75) won his first four starts in August before allowing a career worst 11 runs against Baltimore on Aug. 25.

Blue Jays: After going 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his first three August starts, LHP J.A. Happ (6-10, 4.10) is 0-2 with an 8.18 ERA in his past two outings.

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

MORE - Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.


Red Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

Red Sox signal they'll keep Swihart, may trade Marrero or Holt

Blake Swihart’s strong spring seems to have the Red Sox more inclined to deal one of their natural utility infielders, such as Brock Holt or Deven Marrero, rather than Swihart, a converted catcher with high upside who's getting a look in other roles.
"Sounds like they’re holding Swihart to open," a rival executive said. "More likely to move a utility guy."
A true utility guy, that is.


The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported Sunday that Marrero has been drawing interest from other teams.

"We do have depth with our middle infielders," Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday. "However, [I] would not get into potential trade discussions."
Swihart, who turns 26 on April 3, is most valuable as a catcher. But he could still be useful in a bench role for the 2018 Red Sox, and a win-now mentality may be the driving force here. (It is possible, as well, that there is nothing available via trade for Swihart that has piqued the Sox’ interest. Marrero or Holt wouldn’t require as much in return.)
The potential drawback is that Swihart won’t grow much if he’s not playing every day -- and in particular, if he's not catching every day. But the Sox may be be at a juncture where they feel his bat is a worthwhile experiment off the bench, at least for this season. They can figure out his future -- and their future at backstop -- later.
"He’s a great athlete," Cora told reporters on Sunday. "We’ve seen it in the batter’s box. It’s not only the results, but the way he’s driving the ball to left field as a left-hander, the quality of at-bats as a right-hander. [On Saturday], as a pinch-hitter, that kid was throwing 99 and he throws a breaking ball and squares a ball up."
Swihart entered Monday with a .283 average in Grapefruit League play, with a .905 OPS and a pair of home runs. But he does not have the infield experience that Marrero or Holt has, and the Red Sox essentially have to carry one of those two to start the year. 
Eduardo Nunez, the temporary replacement for Dustin Pedroia, is coming off a knee injury, and a sure-handed infielder -- Marrero’s glove is particularly good -- is a must. Rafael Devers is still coming into his own at third base. 
Tzu-Wei Lin is available in the minors too, and the Sox could see some redundancy with him, Holt and Marrero. Lin, unlike Marrero, has minor league options remaining. Lin also has some limited outfield experience.
The way the Sox roster looks now, they have two spots available for the three guys: Marrero, Holt and Swihart. Health can change that. Holt, despite being the most veteran of the group, has minor league options remaining, so he theoretically could go to Triple-A to start the season. But if the Sox don't see a role for him on this year's team any way, they'd be wiser trading him, considering he's due to make $2.225 million. It also would be kindest choice for Holt, to let him have an opportunity elsewhere, if one exists.


Swihart has played first base, third base and left field in addition to catching this spring. Perhaps, in time, there will be a way to work Swihart in behind the plate for the Sox. At the least, retaining him would be insurance if Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon do not perform well offensively.
There was a clear personal-catcher system for the Red Sox in 2017. Leon was Chris Sale’s guy, for example. Manager Alex Cora said he is not taking that approach. As an auxiliary effect, moving away from a personal-catcher system might make it easier for Swihart to receive more time behind the plate, if called on.
"Whoever I feel comfortable with that day behind the plate, he'll catch," Cora told reporters in Florida. "Christian already caught him. Sandy's going to catch him today. And then the next turn, Christian's going to catch him. Everybody's going to work with everybody."