By reaching double digits in strikeouts for the eighth straight start, Chris Sale tied his own MLB single-season record which he shares with Pedro Martinez.
But despite another strong start from Sale, the Athletics prevailed.
No. 7 hitter Mark Canha drilled a line-drive walkoff homer to left field against reliever Heath Hembree. The Athletics beat the Red Sox 3-2 in 10 innings.
The Red Sox now are just one game over .500 at 21-20.
Sale pitched 7 innings, allowing two runs, two earned, seven hits and no walks while striking out 10.
Sale also posted eight consecutive starts of 10 or more strikeouts in one season in 2015 with the White Sox. Martinez did it 1999.
Pitchers with 10+ Ks in 8 consecutive starts in a season:
Pedro Martinez – 1999
Chris Sale – 2015
Chris Sale – 2017
— Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) May 20, 2017
Red Sox manager John Farrell was asked about Sale’s tremendous start to the season when he spoke to reporters on Thursday, and said it all came down to the southpaw’s extreme competitiveness.
“He’s competitive in everything that we do here, whether it’s a ping pong game in spring training to [pitchers’ fielding practice],” said Farrell on Sale. “Never likes to waste his time not doing something toward winning and competing at something. I think that’s a really great quality.”
“I think [Sale’s] attack of hitters has rubbed off on other pitchers that we have on our staff,” said Farrell. “He’s a leader in his own right.”
The only other pitcher in history with eight straight double-digit strikeout games is Pedro Martinez, who did it in his final eight starts for Boston in 1999. Martinez ended that season with a relief appearance before striking out at least 10 batters in his first two starts in 2000.