Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Boston Wins 7th Straight Behind Chris Sale's 13 Ks; Jake Lamb Slams Dodgers In 6-3 Arizona Win

Players of the Day for Tuesday, August 8, 2017

American League

Sale: 14-4, 2.57, 229 Ks
Boston won its seventh straight game, doing so behind their ace, Chris Sale, in a 2-0 win at Tampa Bay.

Sale was at his very best, allowing two hits and a walk over eight full innings, fanning 13, tying a season-high. Sale struck out 13 on two prior occasions, April 20 at Toronto and July 20, at home against the Yankees. Having struck out 11 in a May 7 win over Baltimore, Sale has double-digit strikeout games against all four AL East opponents.

Looking every bit like this season's Cy Young award winner, Sale leads the AL wins (14-4), ERA (2.57) and strikeouts, his 229 total a clear lead of 40 over Tampa Bay's Chris Archer.

Sale put down the first ten batters he faced, his perfect performance interrupted by a throwing error by third baseman Rafael Devers with one down in the fourth. He entered the fifth with a no-hitter, but Wilson Ramos singled with one out. Sale gave up the only other hit by the Rays in the sixth inning and issued a walk to open the seventh, but set down the next six straight, handing the ball over to closer, Craig Kimbrel, after fanning four of the last five batters he faced.

Picking up his 28th save, Kimbrel was equally impressive, fanning the three batters he faced in the ninth.

The Red Sox will be looking for their eighth straight win and a sweep of the two games at Tampa Bay when they face the Rays Wednesday night at 7:00 pm ET.

National League

Lamb: 25 HR, 90 RBI
Down 16 games in the NL West, Arizona opened their three-game series with the visiting first-place Dodgers the way they had to, with a 6-3 victory, slicing slightly into LA's overwhelming lead.

Jake Lamb did almost all of the Diamondbacks' damage, whacking a pair of home runs, a fourth inning solo shot and a seventh inning grand slam that turned a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 advantage for the home team.

Lamb's homers were his 24th and 25th, closing in on his career-best total of 29 round-trippers in 2016. His five RBI in the game made him the second National Leaguer to reach 90, behind Colorado's Nolan Arenado, who leads the majors with 98.

Arizona improved to 64-48. Even though they still trail the Dodgers by 15 games, they do lead the wild card race, by 1/2 game over the Rockies. Both Arizona and Colorado have to continue their strong play as there are a trio of NL Central teams gunning for at least one of the wild card slots. Milwaukee, St. Louis and Pittsburgh are currently 6, 7, and 8 games behind the Rockies.

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have two more games at Chase Stadium, with game two scheduled for Wednesday night at 9:40 pm ET.

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