Red Sox beat Rays 1-0 in 16 innings

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After a pair of high-scoring games to start the series, the Red Sox and Rays put on a show of offensive ineptitude Sunday night, with Boston winning 1-0 in 16 innings.

It was the longest 1-0 game since the Brewers beat the Angels 1-0 on June 8, 2004, though the Mets and Cardinals played 18 scoreless innings before New York beat St. Louis 2-1 in 20 innings on April 17, 2010.  The Red Sox were on the losing end of a similar contest two years ago.  They fell 2-0 to the Yankees in 15 innings on Aug. 7, 2009.

The team’s combined to bat .078, which is even lower than Adam Dunn’s average this season.  The Red Sox were 5-for-52, while the Rays went 3-for-50.  Dustin Pedroia had three of Boston’s hits, including the go-ahead single that plated Josh Reddick in the 16th.

The starting pitchers were stellar, of course.  Josh Beckett, who left his last start in the first half with a hyperextended knee, pitched eight innings of one-hit ball.  Jeff Niemann allowed two hits while also going eight innings.  He fanned 10 tonight after failing to strike out more than six in any of his previous 10 starts this season.

It looked like Boston would go ahead in the 11th, but after three straight walks to start the frame, Reddick and Jason Varitek both struck out and Marco Scutaro popped out foul to the catcher.

The Red Sox walked 12 times in all.  They left 17 runners on base to the Rays’ six.

By winning two out of three this weekend, the Red Sox opened a seven-game gap on the Rays in the standings.  The Yankees are in second place in the AL East, 1 1/2 games back of Boston.

Blue Jays place Aaron Sanchez on 10-day disabled list

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
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The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.

Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.

Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.