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Chris Sale shows that he can compete for the Cy Young award

What a gem!

Chris Sale.

Chris Sale. | AP

The Red Sox desperately needed to find a way to quiet the bats of Seattle, which had already put 17 runs on the board in the first two games of its series at Fenway Park.

Enter Chris Sale, who dominated the Mariners' lineup over seven innings in Sunday's matinee finale as the Red Sox breezed to a 5-0 win in the rubber game.

With a full arsenal on display, the left-hander allowed just four hits and struck out 13 batters, his second highest K tally of the season.

 

In a span of 10 batters from the third through fifth innings, Sale punched out eight by way of strikeout and brought his American League leading total to 153 on the year.

The Red Sox's ace also brought the heat, making a 100.4 mph pitch to Mike Zunino in the fifth inning, which at the time registered as his fastest pitch as a starter per Statcast™, until he ticked things up a notch in Zunino's next at-bat, going to 100.5 to record his final strikeout of the day.

It was the second consecutive double-digit strikeout performance for Sale, who has six games with 10-plus K's this season.

 

While Sale was cruising, so too was Mariners starter Marco Gonzales, as a pitchers' duel highlighted the first four innings of play.

After Sale struck out the side in the top of the fifth, the tete-a-tete ended as Boston's bats awoke to the tune of four hits and three runs, with Sandy Leon and Mookie Betts each driving in runs by way of sacrifice flies. Rafael Devers started the scoring with an RBI double.

Mitch Moreland provided some additional cushion with a two-run homer to deep center in the bottom of the sixth, his 11th long ball of the season.

Craig Forde  MLB.com

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