Red Sox starter Chris Sale struck out three Orioles on nine pitches in the bottom of the seventh inning of Wednesday night’s start in Baltimore. That is what’s known as an “immaculate inning,” and he’s the third pitcher to accomplish the feat this season, joining the Blue Jays’ Thomas Pannone and the Brewers’ Josh Hader.
Sale mowed down Hanser Alberto to start the inning on a pair of sliders followed by a fastball. The lefty then set down Dwight Smith Jr. with a fastball followed by two sliders. To end the inning, Sale ripped increasingly faster fastballs by Stevie Wilkerson.
There have been 96 known immaculate innings. Five have been tossed by members of the Red Sox: Sale, Rick Porcello, Craig Kimbrel, Clay Buchholz, and Pedro Martínez.
Sale brought a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, but lost it with two outs when Joey Rickard singled to center field. He has not pitched well overall this season, but he may be figuring things out. In his last start against the White Sox, he struck out 10 batters over six scoreless innings.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.