Sale allowed four runs on six hits and three walks despite striking out nine over 5.2 innings in a no-decision Friday against the Rays. Sale has been extremely inconsistent of late. Since July, Sale has allowed one or fewer runs in eight of his 13 starts, but he has allowed four or more runs in four of the remaining five. This was mediocre Sale on Friday, and it's these occasional bumps in the road that could wind up costing him the Cy Young race to Cleveland's Cory Kluber.
Sale (16-7) allowed no runs on six hits and one walk while striking out eight across six innings to earn the victory Saturday against the Rays. Sale had a lead in the first inning, which was more run support than he'd need to easily collect his 16th victory of the season. With a 2.76 ERA along with a 0.95 WHIP, he's been the fantasy ace that many hoped for when selecting him on draft day. He'll make his next start Friday against the Rays.
Sale (15-7) allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six over 4.1 innings in Sunday's 9-2 loss to the Yankees. Sale was tagged for three solo home runs, including the first back-to-back job he's ever allowed in the majors. The Yankees worked him over pretty good, getting his pitch count up to 109 before he was lifted. The left-hander's had smooth sailing for most of the season, but he's experienced a drop-off since the calendar flipped to August. Sale has a 4.57 ERA while allowing seven homers over his last seven starts. His performance in 2017 mimics a career pattern of tailing off in the final two months of seasons past; Sale's ERA is under 3.00 from April to July in his career, but it's over 3.00 in August and closes in on 4.00 in September/October. Sale will look to buck that trend when he next takes the hill Saturday at home against the Rays.
Sale (15-6) struck out 11 while scattering just three hits over seven scoreless innings to pick up the win in Toronto on Tuesday. It took the Red Sox until the sixth inning to give Sale some support, but he was absolutely brilliant, registering double-digit strikeouts for the 17th time this season. This was a much-needed star turn for the lefty's fantasy owners, as he'd given up 18 earned runs in his last five starts despite a 42:8 K:BB in that span. Clayton Kershaw was the first pitcher in 13 years to break 300 strikeouts when he did so in 2015, and Sale has a great shot at joining him, as he'll enter September needing just 36 to reach that lofty milestone. He'll make his first start of the season's final month Sunday against the Yankees.
Sale (14-6) took the loss after lasting just three innings Thursday in Cleveland, allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Sale ran into trouble in the second inning, allowing four runs on four singles, a walk and an error before finally escaping thanks to a double play. His struggles continued in the third, as Cleveland tacked on three more runs. The lanky left-hander has faded down the stretch in previous seasons and appears to be going through similar struggles despite changing the color of his Sox this past offseason. Sale's now allowed 18 earned runs in 30 innings over his past five starts, raising his season ERA from 2.37 to 2.88. He'll hope to bounce back Tuesday in Toronto.
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