ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Chris Sale allowed two hits in eight innings and struck out 13, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Tuesday for their seventh straight victory.
Sale (14-4) reached double digits in strikeouts for the 15th time this season, the first time that’s been done since Randy Johnson in 2002.
The win pushed Boston’s AL East lead over the New York Yankees to four games.
Dustin Pedroia, back in the Boston lineup as a DH after a stint on the disabled list with left knee inflammation, scored the first run on a fielder’s choice in the fourth. A bad throw by Austin Pruitt (6-3) prevented a possible inning-ending double play on Rafael Devers’ chopper to the mound.
It was the only run allowed by Pruitt in his fourth major league start. He pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a win at Houston last Wednesday.
Sale (14-4) gave up singles to Wilson Ramos in the fifth and Peter Bourjos in the sixth. The Rays did not get a runner to second base until the seventh, when Sale followed a walk to Logan Morrison with a wild pitch. It was his only walk.
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