Josh Hader

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Chris Sale throws immaculate inning

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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.