Chris Sale strikes out 13 in seven scoreless innings in Boston’s 5-0 win.
BOSTON — Chris Sale struck out 13 over seven dazzling innings, Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer and the Boston Red Sox won the weekend and season series over the Seattle Mariners with a 5-0 victory on Sunday afternoon.
Sale (7-4) gave up four hits, walked one and ended his day by striking out Mike Zunino swinging on a 100-mph fastball. Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes each pitched an inning to complete the four-hit shutout.
Mostly mixing an overpowering fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s with a sharp-breaking slider in the low 80s, the lanky Sale was working quickly and dominant from the start.
He struck out 10 of the first 16 batters he faced, including the side in order in the fifth – the last two swinging on 99 mph fastballs.
Jackie Bradley Jr. had three singles and Rafael Devers added an RBI double for Boston, which struggled offensively in a loss Saturday after putting up 14 runs and 20 hits in the series opener.
The Mariners have lost six of seven games and fell to 1-5 on their 10-game East Coast trip.
Marco Gonzales (7-5) gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out six without a walk.
The Red Sox broke ahead 3-0 in the fifth on the double by Devers, and sacrifice flies by Sandy Leon and Mookie Betts after Xander Bogaerts doubled leading off and Eduardo Nunez singled.
Moreland’s homer into the center-field batter’s eye made it 5-0 an inning later.
Gonzales was sharp early, spotting a fastball that broke into the low 90s along with a changeup, curveball and cutter. He had the hitters off-balance, causing a lot of weak or early swings until they began waiting on pitches. He had all six Ks through the first four innings.
Nelson Cruz had a two-out triple in the fourth, but was stranded when Ryon Healy struck out on a slider in the dirt.
Betts made a semi-leaping grab on Mitch Haniger’s fly ball to end the sixth with his back nearly up against the bullpen wall.
Cruz went 1 for 4, finishing 8 for 13 in the series with two homers, seven RBIs and four runs scored.
Boston won the season series, 4-3, which could come into play for homefield if the teams tied for the AL’s Wild Card spot.
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