BOSTON (CBS) — Chris Sale was dominant once again Wednesday night, tossing a complete-game shutout against the Kansas City Royals in a 8-0 Red Sox victory. His stellar evening included another immaculate inning from the Boston ace — his second of the season.
Sale needed just nine pitches to strike out the side in the bottom of the eighth, sitting down Kelvin Gutierrez, Nicky Lopez and Martin Maldonado with ease. The first two batters went down looking at Sale’s devastating slider, while Maldonado lost his battle by whiffing on a 97 MPH fastball — Sale’s fastest pitch of the night.
Sale’s eighth inning was poetry in motion. He threw five sliders, a trio of four-seemed fastballs, and a changeup:
Tossing an immaculate inning is quite the achievement, as it’s only been accomplished 97 times in MLB history. Sale has now done it twice in the last month; he also needed just nine pitches to strike out a trio of Orioles on May 8. Sale joins some illustrious company, joining Hall of Famer Lefty Grove as the only players in MLB history to do so twice in one season. Grove did it back in 1928 as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics.
Sandy Koufax threw the most immaculate innings of anyone, doing so three times during his Hall of Fame career.
Sale was locked in Wednesday night, allowing just three hits while striking out 12 Royals. He now has double-digit K’s in six of his last seven outings.