Only four major league pitchers have done it: Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and, for the second time in three seasons, Chris Sale. During Saturday’s 6-3 win against Tampa Bay, the Red Sox’ left-hander delivered 12 strikeouts to the Rays, marking his seventh consecutive outing with 10 or more strikeouts.
Sale issued two walks and three runs over seven innings, losing a couple of at-bats to home runs by Logan Morrison and Kevin Kiermaier. He struck out the side in the third and scattered the remaining nine strikeouts over the other six frames, coming just one strikeout shy of his season-high total and marking his third 12+ strikeout performance in 2017. If Sale can deliver another 10+ strikeouts in his next scheduled start, he’ll tie both Pedro Martinez’s 1999 record and his own 2015 record of eight consecutive appearances with at least 10 whiffs.
The Red Sox rallied behind Sale’s record-tying appearance, putting up six runs on Mookie Betts‘ two-run homer and RBI double and three runs from Deven Marrero and Xander Bogaerts. With the win, the Sox sit just four games back of the division lead behind the Orioles and second-place Yankees.
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.