Red Sox starter Chris Sale wasn’t quite as dominant as he has typically been this season, but he racked up 10 strikeouts again and helped his team emerge with a 17-6 victory. Sale went six innings, yielding four runs on four hits, three walks, and a hit batter over six innings. He’s now sitting on a healthy 1.92 ERA on the season.
Sunday also marked Sale’s sixth consecutive start in which he struck out double-digit batters. It’s the second such streak of at least six games in his career. According to MLB’s Stat of the Day, Sale is one of four pitchers to have multiple streaks of six-plus games with 10 or more strikeouts, joining Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Nolan Ryan.
Sale’s previous streak lasted eight games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015. The only pitcher with a streak longer than eight games is Pedro Martinez, who struck out double-digit batters in 10 consecutive games between August 19, 1999 and April 9, 2000.
Unlike the David Price signing, the Red Sox are seeing immediate returns on their acquisition of Sale. The Red Sox sent Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe to the White Sox in December in return for Sale.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.