Sale Stars Again on Mound, Red Sox Snap Skid by Beating Diamondbacks 7-2
Chris Sale's left arm was fantastic again, even if his stomach was not.
Sale threw five strong innings while battling a stomach bug, Kiké Hernández smacked a two-run homer and the Boston Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 on Friday night.
“Everyone gets sick and has to go to work,” Sale said. “You got to do what you got to do sometimes.”
It was Sale's fourth consecutive impressive outing, raising hope that the veteran right-hander is ready to bounce back after four injury-filled seasons. The 34-year-old gave up one run on four hits while striking out three and walking one.
Sale was pulled after just 73 pitches because of his illness. He said having a stomach bug obviously wasn't ideal, but it did help him focus.
“When you're out there and you're not feeling well, you're not thinking about anything else other than sitting back down again," Sale said. “Our offense was unbelievable. It allowed me to just focus on throwing strikes and then hurrying back to the dugout.”
After a rough first few starts this season, the seven-time All-Star is 5-2 with a 4.72 ERA.
The Red Sox jumped ahead 3-0 in the second. Rookie Triston Casas and Connor Wong hit run-scoring doubles and Raimel Tapia drove home the third run with a single through the right side.
Boston went up 5-0 on Hernández's two-run homer into the left-center seats in the fourth. The Red Sox finished with 14 hits, three each for Alex Verdugo and Casas.
“I was just being aggressive in the middle of the zone,” Casas said. ”They made a couple mistakes on change-ups that I hit for extra bases."
It was another mediocre outing from D-backs rookie Brandon Pfaadt (0-2), who gave up five runs on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander has an 8.37 ERA in five starts. His status on the roster appears tenuous with right-hander Zach Davies poised to return from the injured list this weekend.
Arizona's Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit an RBI triple in the fourth, cutting Boston's lead to 5-1. It also extended Gurriel's hitting streak to 17 games, which is the longest active streak in the majors. Ketel Marte singled in the eighth, reaching base for the 25th straight game.
The Diamondbacks were coming off a 6-3 trip, taking two out of three games from the Athletics, Pirates and Phillies.
CORA HITS 1,000
Boston manager Alex Cora was in uniform for his 1,000th game with the franchise. He appeared in 301 games with the Red Sox during his time as a player from 2005-08 and managed his 699th game on Friday night.
He'll become the seventh Red Sox manager to hit 700 games Saturday.
TRIBUTE FOR HAZEN
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen and family, along with the Women's Board of Barrow, announced a $400,000 donation on behalf of the Nicole Hazen Fund for Hope to the Ivy Brain Tumor Center.
Nicole Hazen died from complications due to glioblastoma, which is a form of brain cancer, in August. She was 45. The family has four sons, Charlie, John, Teddy and Sam.
“It's obviously a very personal, important night for us,” Mike Hazen said. “At some point during this process, we knew that (Nicole) wasn't going to get out of it. But it was incredibly important for us to continue and try to find hope for other people — real hope.”
Diamondbacks: Called up OF Jake McCarthy, sending OF Dominic Fletcher to Triple-A. Fletcher was batting .308 with two homers in 22 games, but his performance had tailed off recently. He hit just 6 of 39 (.154) over his past 10 games.
The teams meet again Saturday night. RHP Zach Davies (0-0, 5.79 ERA) returns from an oblique injury to take the mound for the D-backs. The Red Sox will counter with RHP Garrett Whitlock (1-2, 6.19 ERA).