Boston’s Chris Sale sharp as home win drought ends

Chris Sale struck out 12 in six innings and combined with two relievers on a two-hitter as the Red Sox defeated Toronto 5-0 in Boston on Thursday.

Sale (4-9) gave up both hits and walked two to earn his first victory in a month. The win was his first at home since July 11, 2018 — a span of 14 starts.

“It’s good to see him win a game here, win a game at home — for whatever that means,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “But the way he did it is the most satisfying thing.”

It was Sale’s 11th game this season with 10 or more strikeouts. The seven-time All-Star, who had allowed five runs in three straight starts for the first time in his career, had a 7.89 ERA in three previous appearances against Toronto this season.

“I’m obviously coming off three of the worst starts of my career,” said Sale, who had a dozen teammates watch his bullpen session Tuesday, whether to help spot a flaw in his mechanics or just to show their support. “Good, bad or indifferent, I’m not out on an island.”

Marcus Walden replaced Sale and pitched two innings before Darwinzon Hernandez struck out two in a perfect ninth to end it.

“You could tell early that Chris Sale was on,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said, “so there was no room for error.”

Astros 6, Angels 2: George Springer and Alex Bregman homered as visiting Houston won to extend its AL West lead over the second-place A’s to 5½ games. Los Angeles first baseman Albert Pujols left with left hamstring tightness.

Yankees beat Rays twice: Charlie Morton balked home the tie-breaking run during host New York’s four-run sixth as it completed a doubleheader sweep of visiting Tampa Bay, winning 5-1. In the opener, Domingo German (12-2) allowed two runs in six innings as the Yankees prevailed 6-2.

Nationals 13, Braves 4: Stephen Strasburg (12-4) had a three-run homer among his three hits and set a franchise record for a pitcher with five RBIs for visiting Washington, which took control with an eight-run third inning. The Nationals have won 14 of 18.

Indians 6, Tigers 3: Trevor Bauer struck out 10 in 6 ⅔ innings and Jose Ramirez hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth as host Cleveland completed a four-game sweep to improve to 12-1 against Detroit this season.

Marlins 4, Padres 3: Brian Anderson had his team’s first game-ending hit of the season, a one-out double in the ninth that scored Yadiel Rivera from second to lift Miami past San Diego. The Marlins were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position before Anderson delivered.

Phillies 7, Dodgers 6: Rhys Hoskins’ two-run single highlighted a four-run seventh as host Philadelphia earned a split of a four-game series. Kiké Hernandez had two homers for Los Angeles.

Royals 6, White Sox 5: Cheslor Cuthbert and Jorge Soler homered in a five-run third inning as host Kansas City completed a four-game sweep of Chicago, which has lost seven in a row.

Cardinals 7, Reds 4: Stanford alum Tommy Edman snapped a sixth-inning tie with his first career grand slam as visiting St. Louis won for the fifth time in six games.

Brewers 5, Diamondbacks 1: Orlando Arcia singled home the go-ahead run and later scored on a sacrifice fly during a three-run eighth as visiting Milwaukee won its third in a row.

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