Chris Sale didn't want to come out of the game, but at 110 pitches thrown and with a big five-run lead in the ninth, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell didn't want to risk the health of his ace, and Sale fell just short of a complete game but still on the winning end of an 8-3 Red Sox victory over the Royals in Kansas City last night.
Sale gave up a second inning home run to Mike Moustakas and a two-run shot in the ninth to Jorge Bonifacio in the ninth but other than that cruised through the Royals line up giving up just four hits total while again reaching double digits in strikeouts with ten. Sale improves to 9-3 on the season and is making a strong run at what would be his first Cy Young award, although there's a lot of baseball yet to be played.
A couple of Pawtucket call-ups who've been with the big club already but were summoned back to de to various injuries to the regulars contributed on offense. First baseman Sam Travis, filling in for an ailing with a foot-fracture Mitch Moreland drive in an early run, as did third baseman Deven Marrero, who took over for Pablo Sandoval, who's got to be wondering at this point why he ever bolted San Francisco for Boston in free agency. Panda's tenure in Boston has been miserable, beset by injuries and ineffectiveness at the plate and in the field when he is healthy. He was scratched last night when an ear infection produced a fever. Dustin Pedroia was also out last night, still feeling discomfort in his rib cage after getting drilled in the Houston series. But Xander Bogaerts and Sandy Leon each drove in a pair of runs and when you give Chris Sale even a little bit of a cushion you can almost guarantee a win. Drew Pomeranz will try to win the rubber game of the series tonight.
Meanwhile, the NY Yankees are dealing with a season high losing streak, now at seven games after losing to the L.A. Angels 8-3 last night. The game was tied at three in the seventh when Cameron Maybin took Tyler Clippard deep for a three run homer, and the Bronx boo birds at the Stadium let Clippard know just how they felt when the Angels piled on after that with a double, a warning track fly, and a triple to end his night. The Yankees have also lost their grip on first place, now a half game behind the Red Sox, on a night when at least rookie Aaron Judge kept up his end of the bargain, hitting his major league leading 24th home run of the year. The Angels scored their eight runs without having the benefit of the injured reigning American League MVP Mike Trout in the line up. The Yanks try to halt their skid tonight with Jordan Montgomery getting the start, and they should like the match up, because the the Angels are going with Ricky Nolasco, who has lost his last six starts and is 2-8 on the year.
Corey Seager pretty much beat the NY Mets on his own last night, hitting three home runs in the L.A. Dodgers 12-0 rout of the Mets, who can't get out of L.A. fast enough but still have another game to play at Dodgers Stadium tonight before they can. The Dodgers hit five home runs in all with Seager driving in six runs with his trio of round trippers. Rookie Robert Gsellman is learning about the cruelties of pitching in the Show then hard way, giving up four homers and eight runs in the loss.
The Texas Rangers cooled off the Toronto Blue Jays with a 6-1 win in Arlington last night, getting out to a four run lead in the first inning, thanks in part to a Carlo Gomez home run. Francisco Liriano took the loss for Toronto.
Mother nature finally relented long enough to allow the Vermont Lake Monsters to officially start their season, splitting a double header against the Lowell Spinners yesterday. Resuming a game halted in the third inning due to rain, the Monsters rode a Javier Godard triple that drove in three runs to a 6-0 lead, and barely hung on to win 6-5 when the Spinners rallied late. Godard had two walks to go with his 2 for 2 day at the plate with the big run producing triple in game one. Richard Morban threw four scoreless innings to get the win. Game two went to Lowell thanks to a Lake Monsters throwing error in the sixth that led to the game winning run in Lowell's 4-2 victory.
In the NECBL the Vermont Mountaineers got flummoxed by North Adams Steeple Cats starting pitcher Blake Whitney, who hurled a gem against them at Recreational Field yesterday. Whitney struck out the first eight Mountaineers he faced and gave up just two hits to go with 11 total strikeouts in the Steeple Cats 4-1 win.
After dropping their first two games of the season the Upper Valley Nighthawks are now on a serious roll, winners of nine in a row after holding on to beat the Sanford Mainers 9-7 last night. The Nighthawks jumped out to 7-0 lead, tacking on five runs in a big third inning, then hung on as the Mainers chipped away at the lead.
Finally, two local high school athletes have repeated as Decathlon champs. St. Johnsbury's Katherine Cowan and Bellows Falls' DJ Snide kept their titles at the 42nd annual Decathlon championship held at the University of Vermont.