Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale is continuing his impressive turnaround from a slow start to the season. On Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals (BOS 8, KC 0), Sale pitched his second immaculate inning of the year, meaning he needed just nine pitches to strike out the side. The final strike was a 98 mph fastball to Royals catcher Martin Maldonado. Sale struck out Kelvin Gutierrez and Nicky Lopez to begin the eighth.
The first immaculate inning Sale completed this season was on May 8 against the Baltimore Orioles. With his second on Wednesday, Sale became the first pitcher in over 90 years to throw an immaculate innings twice in a season. Hall of Famer Lefty Grove did it in 1928.
"Any time you can finish a game, that's what you sign up for," Sale told reporters after the game. "I've never started a game I didn't intend to finish."
Sale's final line for the outing was just as impressive.
In Wednesday's outing, Sale picked up his third win of the season after a
Wednesday was Sale's 11th career game with 12 strikeouts and zero walks. It's already his third such game this season (all coming in the last month), making him one game shy of tying Roger Clemens' MLB record set in 1997. Sale is also tied with Pedro Martinez for the third-most 12-K, 0-BB games in MLB history. He joins a pretty exclusive group of pitchers:
Most Games With 12 K & 0 BB in MLB History:
- Randy Johnson: 15
- Roger Clemens: 12
- Chris Sale: 11
- Pedro Martinez: 11
- Curt Schilling: 10
Sale, who signed a five-year, $145 million extension just before the season got started, has been dominant ever since his win-less April. Sale, 30, has posted a 15 K/9 in his last nine starts with double-digit strikeouts in seven of those outings.