ChiSox's Sale ties strikeout record
ST. LOUIS — Chris Sale forced another avalanche of swings and misses. Helping at the bat, was an unexpected bonus.
The Chicago White Sox lefty matched a major league record by striking out at least 10 in eight straight starts. In his 100th start he also got his first career hit and scored his first career run.
"I got to do a few things I normally don't do," Sale said after the White Sox outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in 11 innings on a home run by Tyler Flowers. "It was fun, it was cool."
Sale struck out 12 in eight innings. The lefty tied the mark set by Pedro Martinez in 1999 with Boston and gets a chance to break it this weekend at home against the Blue Jays — not that he's paying much attention.
"Those kinds of things don't really matter to me," Sale said. "You start worrying about that stuff right now and we won't be talking about it anymore, that's for sure."
Flowers, the White Sox catcher, said it'll be a surprise the next time Sale doesn't reach double digits in strikeouts.
"If he executes pitches he's hard to catch, much less trying to hit," Flowers said. "I don't see any reason why he can't continue to put up these kind of strikeouts and these numbers."
The White Sox ace had fanned every hitter in the St. Louis lineup by the end of the sixth. He is 0-2 with two no-decisions during the last four games of his streak, getting only four runs of support.
Flowers hit his sixth homer with two outs in the 11th. He connected off Miguel Socolovich (2-1), pitching for the first time in nine days.
"It felt good coming off the bat, it felt good running around the bases," Flowers said. "You don't want to waste those opportunities. Sale did a great job, the bullpen did a good job of giving us a chance."
Socolovich wanted the pitch out of the strike zone, "but I think I left it on the plate and he put a good swing on it."
Daniel Webb (1-0) got the win and David Robertson earned his 16th save in 20 chances.
Randal Grichuk homered into Big Mac Land and doubled for the Cardinals, whose nine-game home winning streak ended.
Both teams recorded 14 strikeouts. White Sox leadoff man Adam Eaton fanned four times and rookie Xavier Scruggs struck out three times for St. Louis, the first two times against Sale.
"It's good to get out there and face that type of competition," said Scruggs, who entered batting .474. "You always want to face the best, but yeah, he had his stuff today, and hats off to him."
Sale struck out the side in the third. He got his 10th strikeout against Jhonny Peralta in the sixth.
Sale singled leading off the third, advanced on a groundout and scored on Jose Abreu's one-out hit off the second-base bag. Sale had been 0 for 8 with six strikeouts in his career.
RANGERS 8, ORIOLES 6
BALTIMORE (AP) — Mitch Moreland hit two home runs for the second straight game, and the Rangers celebrated the return of Josh Hamilton with a road win.
Shin-Soo Choo and Robinson Chirinos also went deep for the Rangers, who have hit eight home runs in the first two games of the series.
Moreland homered with a man on in the second and eighth innings. He leads Texas with 14 homers and ranks second with 43 RBIs.
Hamilton hit two singles and made a nice running catch of a sinking liner to left field in his eighth game of the season. The free-swinging slugger had been sidelined since May 31 with a strained left hamstring.
Chris Davis hit two home runs for Baltimore and Manny Machado added a solo shot. Miguel Gonzalez (6-5) got the loss.
Colby Lewis (8-3) improved to 4-0 in six starts since May 27. Shawn Tolleson earned his 11th save.
ASTROS 4, ROYALS 0
HOUSTON (AP) — Dallas Keuchel allowed seven hits in eight innings to lead Houston to the victory.
The performance comes after Keuchel (10-3) threw a six-hit shutout in a win over the New York Yankees in his previous start. Keuchel struck out seven while lowering his ERA to 2.03.
George Springer had a two-run homer in the third inning. Jose Altuve drove in a run in the fifth to help Houston to the victory.
The Astros have taken the first two games of this matchup of teams with the best records in the American League. Houston is 46-34 and Kansas City is 44-30.
Kansas City starter Danny Duffy (2-4) allowed six hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings in his second start since returning from the disabled list.
PIRATES 5, TIGERS 4, 14 INNINGS
DETROIT (AP) — Neil Walker's RBI double in the 14th inning lifted Pittsburgh to the win.
The Pirates took the lead in that inning despite a massive baserunning mistake. With one out and a runner on first, Josh Harrison doubled, but Gorkys Hernandez retreated, thinking Rajai Davis had made a diving catch.
After being urged on by Harrison, Hernandez then broke for third, but didn't retouch second, and was out on a Tigers appeal. Walker followed with an RBI double off Tom Gorzelanny (1-2) to make it 5-4, but the Hernandez mistake cost the Pirates a run.
Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the inning, but Victor Martinez hit into a game-ending double play.
Deolis Guerra (1-0) picked up his first major league win with three scoreless innings.
ANGELS 2, YANKEES 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Andrew Heaney pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in the Angels' fourth straight win, and Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar hit back-to-back homers in the sixth.
The Angels have won six of eight on their nine-game homestand. Los Angeles (41-37) heads into July four games above .500 for the first time since June 1.
Pujols hit his AL-leading 24th homer and set an Angels record with his 13th homer of a spectacular month.
Mark Teixeira homered for the Yankees, who have lost seven of 10. Ivan Nova (1-1) got the loss.
Heaney (1-0) walked two and struck out seven, allowing just one runner to reach second base.
CUBS 1, METS 0
NEW YORK (AP) — Kyle Hendricks outpitched Jonathon Niese in a matchup of feeble offenses, and the Cubs stopped a five-game skid.
Hendricks (3-4) struck out six in six innings and combined with three relievers on a three-hitter. Jason Motte earned his third save.
Matt Szczur had an RBI double in the sixth for the Cubs, who scored just six runs during their losing streak.
Niese (3-8) allowed four hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked four.
The Mets had won four in a row.
MARLINS 5, GIANTS 3
MIAMI (AP) — Major league batting leader Dee Gordon hit the first inside-the-park homer in the four-year history of Marlins Park, and the three-run shot helped Miami to the win.
Justin Bour also homered for the Marlins, giving a welcome jolt of power to a team without injured slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
Buster Posey hit his 12th homer for the Giants. He has 18 RBIs in his past 10 games.
Mat Latos (3-5) gave up three runs, two earned, in six innings for Miami. A.J. Ramos pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save.
San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong (6-6) allowed four runs in six innings.
RED SOX 4, BLUE JAYS 3
TORONTO (AP) — David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit solo home runs in Boston's third straight win, and Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six solid innings.
The Red Sox matched their longest winning streak of the season.
Rodriguez (4-2) gave up one run and four hits, slowing down the top-scoring team in the majors. Tommy Layne gave up a two-run homer to Jose Reyes in the seventh, Alexi Ogando got four outs and Koji Uehara finished for his 18th save.
Marco Estrada (5-4) allowed four runs, two earned, and three hits in 2 1/3 innings in his shortest start of the season. He had taken no-hit bids into the eighth in each of his previous two starts.
NATIONALS 6, BRAVES 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Jordan Zimmermann took a shutout into the eighth inning, and Washington continued its season-long dominance of the division rivalry.
The NL East-leading Nationals have won nine straight games in the season series with the Braves — including a three-game sweep at Washington last week.
Zimmermann (6-5) ended a streak of three losses since his last win on June 2. He allowed six hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Clint Robinson hit a two-run homer to cap Washington's four-run first inning off Shelby Miller (5-4).
Juan Uribe opened the ninth with a homer off former Braves reliever David Carpenter.
INDIANS 6, RAYS 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Danny Salazar pitched two-hit ball for 7 2/3 innings, and the Indians backed him with three home runs.
Jason Kipnis, Giovanny Urshela and David Murphy connected for Cleveland, sending Tampa Bay to its third straight loss.
Facing the Rays for the first time since losing in the 2013 AL wild-card game, Salazar (7-3) allowed one earned run and struck out two. He won for the first time in four starts.
Erasmo Ramirez (6-3) lost for the first time in six starts.
BREWERS 4, PHILLIES 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Aramis Ramirez drove in three runs and Ryan Braun had four hits, leading Milwaukee to the road win.
Hernan Perez had two hits, including a triple, for the Brewers, who have won six of eight. Neal Cotts (1-0) got the win, and Francisco Rodriguez earned his 17th save.
Carlos Ruiz homered for Philadelphia, which has lost five of six to drop its major league-worst record to 27-52.
Before the game, the Phillies said Pete Mackanin will remain their manager for the rest of the season. Mackanin took over on an interim basis last Friday after Ryne Sandberg resigned.
Ken Giles (3-2) got the loss in relief of Cole Hamels, who pitched seven solid innings.
MARINERS 5, PADRES 0
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Seattle rookie Mike Montgomery took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and finished with a one-hitter for his second straight shutout.
Making his sixth major league start, Montgomery opened the seventh by getting Justin Upton on a fly to left. Yangervis Solarte hit Montgomery's next pitch into the left-field corner for a double.
Montgomery (3-2) struck out seven, walked four and hit a batter. He threw a career-high 113 pitches.
The Padres were shut out for the 12th time and have lost five of eight.
Brad Miller and Mike Zunino homered off Ian Kennedy (4-7).
TWINS 8, REDS 5
CINCINNATI (AP) — Torii Hunter homered again after a long delay at the start of the game, and Phil Hughes got his third straight victory for Minnesota.
The start was delayed 2 hours, 1 minute because a storm was headed toward the ballpark. The storm dissolved on the way.
Hunter got the Twins going by hitting a solo drive in the first inning off Anthony DeSclafani (5-6) for his fourth homer in the last four games.
Hughes (7-6) gave up solo homers by Eugenio Suarez and Marlon Byrd, leaving in the seventh inning with the Twins up 7-2. Glen Perkins gave up a walk in the ninth while getting his 25th consecutive save, the second-longest streak in Twins history.