TORONTO (AP) — Chris Sale and two relievers combined on a four-hitter, Hanley Ramirez hit a solo home run and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-0 on Tuesday night.
Sale (15-6) fanned 11 in his ML-best 17th double-digit strikeout game, raising his league-leading total to 264. His 15 wins lead the AL.
Sale, who matched a season-worst by allowing seven runs in his previous outing, pitched seven innings. The left-hander has not allowed a run in 22 innings against the Blue Jays this season.
After Toronto DH Kendrys Morales hit a one-out double in the second inning, Sale retired 17 consecutive batters before Morales singled to begin the eighth.
Kevin Pillar chased Sale with a single, and Addison Reed came on to strike out pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera and Miguel Montero. Ryan Goins singled to load the bases for Steve Pearce, but he grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Craig Kimbrel finished for his 31st save in 35 chances.
Toronto has lost nine of 11.
Sale caught Pillar looking at strike three in the second for the 1,500th strikeout of his career. Sale reached the milestone in 1,290 innings, quicker than any other pitcher. Kerry Wood did it in 1,303 innings.
Promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to make his first start for the Blue Jays, left-hander Brett Anderson (2-3) allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings.
Boston’s Eduardo Nunez doubled in the first and tried to score on a two-out single by Mookie Betts, but was thrown out at home plate by right fielder Jose Bautista.
After Morales doubled in the second, Sale and Anderson combined to retire 22 consecutive batters before Boston’s Rajai Davis hit a two-out single in the sixth. Davis stole second and scored the game’s first run when Nunez blooped an RBI double past a sliding Bautista, who failed to make a backhanded catch.
Anderson left after Andrew Benintendi followed with an infield single. Dominic Leone came on and retired Betts to end the inning.
Ramirez hit a two-out drive to center off Leone in the sixth, his 20th.
Benintendi made it 3-0 with an RBI single off Ryan Tepera in the eighth.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (left elbow) is expected to throw off the mound Wednesday. Price last threw from the mound July 22, allowing six runs in five innings in a start against the Los Angeles Angels. … 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee) ran the bases and will do so again Wednesday. If all goes well, Pedroia hopes to return during Boston’s upcoming series with the New York Yankees.
Toronto optioned RHP Leonel Campos to Triple-A Buffalo to make room for Anderson and granted OF Nori Aoki his unconditional release. RHP T.J. House cleared waivers and was assigned to Buffalo.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (8-15, 4.75) won his first four starts in August before allowing a career worst 11 runs against Baltimore on Aug. 25.
Blue Jays: After going 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his first three August starts, LHP J.A. Happ (6-10, 4.10) is 0-2 with an 8.18 ERA in his past two outings.