Chris Sale racked up double-digit strikeouts in his sixth consecutive start


White Sox starter Chris Sale flirted with perfection but settled for eight shutout innings and 14 strikeouts against the Rangers on Friday night. He held the opposition to two hits and did not issue a walk. The lefty lost his bid for a perfect game with two outs in the sixth inning when Hanser Alberto singled to center. David Robertson came on in the ninth inning but loaded the bases, then gave up two runs to erase a 1-0 lead and take Sale out of the running for the win.

Sale has now struck out double-digit batters in six consecutive starts. According to Baseball Reference’s Play Index, there had been only 10 other instances in which a pitcher accomplished the feat. Pedro Martinez did it on three occasions and has the longest streak at 10 starts. Randy Johnson struck out 10-plus batters in seven consecutive starts once and in six consecutive starts on four other occasions. Nolan Ryan had a seven-game streak and a six-game streak.

Rk Name Start End Games IP BB SO ERA Tm
1 Pedro Martinez 1999-08-19 2000-04-09 10 76.1 11 130 1.06 BOS
2 Randy Johnson 2001-04-13 2001-05-13 7 56.0 13 90 1.93 ARI
3 Pedro Martinez 1999-04-15 1999-05-18 7 53.2 13 84 1.51 BOS
4 Nolan Ryan 1977-05-19 1977-06-16 7 60.0 45 90 2.55 CAL
5 Randy Johnson 2002-07-31 2002-08-25 6 50.0 14 79 1.08 ARI
6 Randy Johnson 2000-04-25 2000-05-21 6 45.1 11 71 1.99 ARI
7 Randy Johnson 1999-07-20 1999-08-16 6 49.0 11 65 1.84 ARI
8 Randy Johnson 1998-06-19 1998-07-16 6 51.0 10 74 2.29 SEA
9 Pedro Martinez 1997-06-03 1997-06-30 6 50.2 15 72 1.78 MON
10 Nolan Ryan 1972-09-25 1973-04-18 6 54.0 25 76 1.33 CAL
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/19/2015.

Sale, over his last six starts, has a 1.19 ERA with a 75/7 K/BB ratio over 45 1/3 innings.

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.

Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.