Getting token pressure from second place New York, the Boston Red Sox notched another win off the arm of their ace starter, Chris Sale, who improved to 16-7 with six shutout innings in a 9-0 Boston rout of Tampa Bay.
|Chris Sale: 16-7|
The victory was Boston's second straight at Fenway over the visiting Rays and fourth straight overall. On Friday, they topped their AL East rivals 9-3.
Sale allowed six hits but no runs, fanned eight and issued one walk on his way to the AL lead in victories, becoming the first AL hurler with 16 wins. Four pitchers - teammate Drew Pomeranz, Minnesota's Ervin Santana, and two Cleveland starters, Cory Kluber and Trevor Bauer - each have 15 wins.
Boston leads the Yankees in the division by 4 1/2 games and has no games left against them this season. The Red Sox will be looking for the sweep when they host the Rays Sunday at 1:35 pm ET.
After taking the opener of a three-game series from the Cubs in Chicago, 2-0, Friday, the Milwaukee Brewers left no doubt that they are in the NL Central pennant race until the end with a 15-2 thrashing of the Cubs at Wrigley Field Saturday.
|Perez: HR, 5 RBI|
The sac fly accounted for the first of Perez's five RBI on the day. In the fifth, he smacked a two-run home run and he drove in two more runs with a sixth inning single. A utility man who has played every position this year except catcher - he even pitched one inning - this season, Perez played second and third base on Saturday. He has 14 home runs and 48 RBI on the year.
The Cubs managed only six hits off winning pitcher Chase Anderson (9-3) and four Milwaukee relievers. They lead the Brewers and Cardinals in the division by three games with 20 left to play. The NL Central is the closest race in any of the six major league divisions. Milwaukee and St. Louis are also three games out in the wild card, trailing Colorado for the second wild card. The Rockies sent the Dodgers to their ninth straight loss Saturday, with a 6-5 win.
The Brewers will be looking for the sweep when they take the field against the Cubs in the series finale, Sunday at 2:20 pm ET.