Chris Sale strikes out 17 in another dominant start for Red Sox, but Rockies battle back for win

Red Sox lefty Chris Sale was in vintage form on Tuesday against the Rockies, before the Sox bullpen imploded late (COL 5, BOS 4 - F/11). Here's a look at Sale's work: 

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Chris Sale BOS • SP • 41
vs. COL, 5/14/19

That's just the 16th time in MLB history that a pitcher has struck out 17 or more without issuing a walk. The last before Sale to pull off this feat was Max Scherzer in 2016. There's also this: 

Suffice it to say, Sale had his stuff working against Colorado: 

And speaking of being back: 

While Sale pitched an all-timer of a start, the Red Sox couldn't hold on, as the Rockies won in 11 innings. Of the now 16 times a pitcher has struck out 17 batters and walked none in an MLB start, this is only the third time his team wound up losing the game. 

The loss, though, doesn't do justice to just how good the Red Sox' ace has been over has past few turns. Remember when Sale was struggling? Back on April 16, he was lugging around an ERA of 8.50 and showing diminished velocity. Since then, Sale's halved that ERA, and on Tuesday night his fastball was registering 96 mph on the gun. Over his last three starts, Sale has struck out 41 batters against only one walk while giving up just three runs in 21 innings. Over his last five starts, he's struck out 59 versus six walks. 

Given the poor velocity and even poorer results, there was understandably a lot of early-season hand-wringing over Sale, who not long ago inked a $145 million extension. Not even a month since his low point of the season, though, he's looking more dominant than he's ever been. The Sox still have some concerns across the roster, but by all appearances their ace is back to being just that --- the ace of a team with designs on repeating as World Series champs. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for and He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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