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Baseball capsules: Chris Sale strikes out 13 in Boston’s victory over Tampa Bay

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 8, 2017, 10:58 p.m.

Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Steve Nesius / Associated Press)
Boston Red Sox starter Chris Sale pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Steve Nesius / Associated Press)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Chris Sale struck out 13 in eight innings, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Tuesday for their seventh straight victory.

Sale (14-4) reached double digits in strikeouts for the 15th time this season. He allowed two hits, and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 28th save.

The win pushed Boston’s AL East lead over the New York Yankees to four games.

Dustin Pedroia, who returned to the lineup as the designated hitter after a stint on the disabled list with left knee inflammation, scored Boston’s first run on a fielder’s choice in the fourth. A bad throw by Austin Pruitt (6-3) prevented a possible inning-ending double play on Rafael Devers’ chopper to the mound.

It was the only run allowed by Pruitt in his fourth major league start. He pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a win at Houston last Wednesday.


CLEVELAND – Yan Gomes hit a three-run homer off Greg Holland with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting Corey Kluber and Cleveland to the victory.

After Austin Jackson tied it with a two-out bloop RBI single, Gomes connected on the first pitch from Holland (2-3), driving it into the seats in center field to touch off a wild celebration in Progressive Field.

Gomes flung his helmet and skipped around the bases as the Indians players danced out of their dugout at the improbable walk-off win.

Kluber (10-3) struck out 11 in his second straight complete game. He allowed three hits and walked none.

Charlie Blackmon homered for the Rockies.


NEW YORK – Rookie Chris Flexen got his first big league win and hit, and the Mets stopped a four-game losing streak.

Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d’Arnaud homered for New York, which led 4-0 after two innings. Cespedes went deep at Citi Field for just the third time this season, his first since June 17. D’Arnaud hit his first at home this year after nine on the road.

Joey Gallo, Adrian Beltre and Robinson Chirinos homered for Texas.

Flexen (1-1) allowed three runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings in his third big league start. A.J. Ramos gave up Chirinos’ two-out homer in the ninth, then retired Drew Robinson on a groundout for his 21st save.

Texas’ A.J. Griffin (5-3) allowed four runs and four hits in five innings.


CINCINNATI – Jose Pirela had four hits and Yangervis Solarte had a homer among his three hits, powering the Padres to the victory.

San Diego’s Luis Perdomo (6-6) escaped threats by inducing three ground-ball double plays – his specialty – while pitching into the seventh.

Cincinnati catcher Tucker Barnhart hit a three-run homer off Jose Torres.

The Padres improved to 4-1 against the Reds, who haven’t won a season series from them since 2012. The Reds have gone 7-18 since the All-Star break.

San Diego piled up nine hits and five runs off Sal Romano (2-4), who was in trouble in each of his six innings. Austin Hedges homered for a 5-0 lead in the sixth. Solarte connected for a two-run shot an inning later.


TORONTO – Josh Donaldson hit two two-run homers for the Blue Jays, and J.A. Happ won his sixth straight decision against the Yankees.

Donaldson connected twice against CC Sabathia (9-5), who came in with an AL-best 2.29 ERA in 10 road starts. The 2015 AL MVP hit a drive to right-center in the first, and hooked one down the left field line in the third.

It was Donaldson’s 12th multihomer game and his second this season, both coming against the Yankees.

Happ (5-8) allowed one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings, improving to 6-0 in 10 starts against the Yankees since 2014.

Roberto Osuna got three outs for his 29th save in 36 chances.


WASHINGTON – Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit his career-high and major league-leading 38th homer of the season and drove in three runs.

Stanton crushed a first-pitch fastball from A.J. Cole (1-2) deep into the center-field stands in the fifth for a 4-1 lead following singles by Miguel Rojas and Dee Gordon.

Derek Dietrich also homered and drove in three runs for the Marlins. Gordon’s RBI double and Dietrich’s two-run single put Miami up 7-1 in the seventh.

Vance Worley (2-2) beat the Nationals for the second time in nine days. He allowed one run in six innings after holding Washington to two hits while pitching seven innings in Miami’s 7-0 win on July 31.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Yadier Molina, Jedd Gyorko and Randal Grichuk homered, leading St. Louis to its fourth straight win.

Michael Wacha (9-4) allowed a three-run double to Cheslor Cuthbert but otherwise kept the Royals in check, surrendering six hits over six innings to win for the sixth time in seven decisions.

Molina connected against Jason Vargas (13-6) in the fourth and Grichuk and Gyorko connected to highlight the six-run fifth, when the crown-shaped videoboard at Kauffman Stadium suddenly went dark.

About half of it came back online in the seventh, when the Cardinals were tacking on runs.


PITTSBURGH – Andrew McCutchen hit his 23rd homer, leading Pittsburgh to its fifth win in six games.

Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl (5-7) allowed three runs and five hits in six innings in his second straight win. He also picked up the first two RBIs of his big league career on a two-run single in the fourth off Matthew Boyd (5-6).

McCutchen took Boyd to the seats in center field leading off the fourth for his franchise-record 13th interleague home run. David Freese added two hits for the Pirates, and Felipe Rivero worked a perfect ninth for his 10th save.

Detroit has dropped four in a row.


ATLANTA – Odubel Herrera hit a two-run homer, Zach Eflin pitched seven strong innings following his recall from the minors, and the Phillies continued their season-long mastery of the Braves.

After Maikel Franco drove in Freddie Galvis with a line-drive single to right field in the fifth inning, Herrera reached down to pull a low pitch from Julio Teheran (7-10) into the restaurant behind the right-field wall.

Freddie Freeman hit a first-inning homer off Eflin, who was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the game and earned his first win of the season. Eflin (1-3) allowed two runs and seven hits.

The Phillies have won 10 of 12 against Atlanta this season.

Hector Neris pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 15 chances.


CHICAGO – Rookie Kevan Smith had a home run and drove in four runs for the Chicago White Sox in a win over Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros.

Left-hander Derek Holland (6-11) earned his first win since June 13, despite issuing seven walks in 5 2/3 innings. He had been 0-5 in eight starts and one relief appearance since beating Baltimore.

Chicago (42-68) won for the fourth time in 23 games, stopping a six-game losing streak.

Keuchel (9-2) allowed a season-high eight runs and 10 hits in four innings for Houston (71-41). He had a 1.67 ERA when he went on the disabled list for the second time with a neck injury, on June 8. The All-Star left-hander has a 10.50 ERA in three starts since his return.

Avisail Garcia and Yoan Moncada had RBI singles in the first inning as the White Sox took a 3-0 lead. It was Garcia’s first at-bat since coming off the disabled list following a strained thumb ligament that had sidelined the All-Star since July 25.


MINNEAPOLIS – Brian Dozier hit his first career grand slam and Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario each homered twice, powering the Minnesota Twins past the Milwaukee Brewers for a two-game sweep.

Matt Garza (5-6) turned in his shortest and worst start of the season with eight hits and eight runs allowed in 3 1/3 innings for the Brewers, who fell to 4-11 in their last 15 road games. They entered the night 1 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

Garza took a 4-2 lead into the fourth inning, when Rosario went deep with one out. The Twins then loaded the bases with a single and two walks before Dozier drove a first-pitch fastball to the flag pole behind right field for his 138th major league home run, including 21 this year. Dozier has only homered the opposite way seven times in his career.


ANAHEIM, Calif. – Parker Bridwell, a right-hander the Angels picked up for cash in mid-April from the Orioles, came back to haunt his former team in a victory for Los Angeles over Baltimore.

Bridwell (6-1) went seven strong innings, holding the Orioles to one run and six hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter. The Angels are 10-1 this season in games started by Bridwell.

Jeremy Hellickson (7-6) was matching Bridwell until running into trouble in the seventh. He had retired 10 straight in the 1-1 game when the Angels chased him with four consecutive hits.

Luis Valbuena doubled in the go-ahead run and C.J. Cron singled in another.


PHOENIX – Jake Lamb hit his second career grand slam, his first off a left-hander, in the seventh inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied to beat Los Angeles, only the eighth loss for the Dodgers in their last 52 games.

Lamb, who also had a solo home run in the sixth inning, was hitting .143 against left-handed pitchers this season when he hit Tony Watson’s 1-2 pitch off the right-field foul pole to put Arizona up 6-3.

Justin Turner homered twice for the Dodgers, who led 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh. Chris Iannetta had a solo home run for the Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers lost for just the fourth time in 29 games since July 4.

Closer Fernando Rodney, who blew a three-run lead in a 5-4 loss at the Dodgers on July 6, threw a scoreless ninth for his 26th save in 31 tries.


SAN FRANCISCO – Buster Posey hit a three-run homer in the first that was upheld after review and later stole a base, Ty Blach won his second straight start and the San Francisco Giants beat the Chicago Cubs.

Replay showed Posey’s drive to left-center had just enough to clear the wall and left fielder Jon Jay’s outstretched glove before being caught by a fan.

Blach (8-7) hit an RBI single to help his cause and the Giants snapped a four-game losing streak to the Cubs with just their third win in the last 10 against Chicago, which rallied to win Game 4 of the NL Division Series and eliminate the Giants last October on the way to a World Series title.

Blach also beat the Cubs again after a May 22 win at Wrigley Field, allowing two runs on seven hits in seven innings Tuesday with three strikeouts and a walk.


OAKLAND, Calif. – Leonys Martin homered in the top of the 10th inning as the Seattle Mariners rallied from a four-run deficit to defeat the Oakland Athletics.

Martin hit a high arcing shot to right off a 2-1 94 mph fastball from Josh Smith (2-0) with two outs.

His second home run of the season pushed the Mariners’ record on their nine-game road trip to 5-3.

Edwin Diaz pitched out of a jam in the bottom of the 10th for his 24th save.

Marc Rzepczynski (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning in the bottom of the ninth.

The A’s had runners at first and second with one out but Diaz struck out Chad Pinder swinging and got Matt Chapman to fly out to right.

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