Sale made his first start since July 28th due to left shoulder inflammation and earned his 12th victory, while helping his team move 50 games over .500 on the season. He made some history as well, becoming the first pitcher in baseball history to allow one or fewer hits and strike out at least 12 in five or fewer innings pitched. He threw just 68 pitches on this day, as manager Alex Cora was playing it safe against the worst team in baseball. Renato Nunez's third-inning single was the only blemish on Sale's day.
The former Chicago White Sox ace is now 7-0 in his past nine starts, while also recording a 0.20 ERA in his past seven outings. That is the best stretch for any Red Sox pitcher since ERA became a stat in 1913. Sale leads all of baseball with a 1.97 ERA, while also holding the strikeout lead with 219. He surpassed Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals, who enters Sunday night's game against the Chicago Cubs with 216 strikeouts.
Steve Pearce went deep for the Red Sox, who have won 10 of 11 overall and are now 14-2 against the O's this season. Baltimore now sits 49.5 games out of first place in the basement of the AL East Division. They dropped their fifth straight game on Sunday, which is their ninth separate losing streak of at least five games this season. They struck out 18 times as a team on Sunday and will host the New York Mets on Tuesday night. The Red Sox move on to an interleague battle with the Philadelphia Phillies that same night.