Boston’s Chris Sale pleaded but did not push when manager Alex Cora told him his night was done.
Cora was not about to risk the health of his left-hander, even after he struck out a career-high 17 over seven innings. Sale might have righted whatever went wrong during an 0-5 start, but Cora still went to the bullpen for the eighth, costing Sale the chance to chase the major-league record of 20 strikeouts in a nine-inning game.
Even after Colorado prevailed 5-4 in 11 innings at Fenway Park, Cora and Sale said the skipper made the right call.
“I’d love to have gone back out there, but as I said, I’ll never question anything he does,” Sale said.
He became the first pitcher in major-league history to fan 17 in a start of no more than seven innings. Boston pitchers combined to strike out 24, but the Red Sox had their winning streak end at five games.
Mark Reynolds, whose fifth-inning double was the first runner allowed by Sale, drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the 11th off Ryan Brasier.
Photo: Winslow Townson / Associated Press
“You never know what’s going to happen. So I think all of us who were here tonight witnessed two walks, 24 strikeouts, but a Rockie win,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “We just stayed at it.”
Sale, in his signature short sleeves despite the 44-degree temperature to start the game, struck out the first six batters and eight through three innings.
Boston fans chanted “We want Sale!” after the bottom of the seventh, but his night was done. When Cora told him he was departing, Sale used his fingers to form the number 20.
Cora didn’t bite and went to Brandon Workman, who allowed a double by Chris Iannetta and Charlie Blackmon’s two-run homer with two outs in the eighth to give Colorado a 4-3 lead.
Dodgers 6, Padres 3: Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger hit two-run homers, Clayton Kershaw threw seven solid innings and host Los Angeles defeated San Diego.
Twins 4, Angels 3: Catcher Mitch Garver hit a two-run home run and tagged out Shohei Ohtani trying to score the tying run in the eighth inning before leaving with an injury, helping host Minnesota hold off Los Angeles.
Royals 11, Rangers 5: Hunter Dozier drove in three runs, top prospect Nicky Lopez had an RBI single in his big-league debut, and host Kansas City routed Texas.
Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 2: Josh Bell homered twice and Joe Musgrove allowed one hit through seven innings as Pittsburgh won in Phoenix.
Cubs 3, Reds 1: Kyle Hendricks had as many hits as he allowed in his latest gem. The Cubs’ starter had a career-high three hits, including a two-run double, and worked into the ninth inning to lead visiting Chicago over Cincinnati.
Astros 11, Tigers 4: Carlos Correa started another Houston onslaught with a three-run homer in the first inning, and the Astros routed host Detroit to extend their winning streak to seven games.
Brewers 6, Phillies 1: Brandon Woodruff allowed one hit in six innings, Yasmani Grandal and Ryan Braun homered and Milwaukee won in Philadelphia. Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura, the ninth pick in the 2017 amateur draft, was 2-for-3 with a walk in his major-league debut.
Mets 6, Nationals 2: Wilson Ramos hit a first-inning grand slam after Washington failed to complete what should have been a routine double play, Noah Syndergaard took a no-hitter into the sixth, and New York handed host Washington its 11th loss in 15 games.
Rays 4, Marlins 0: Charlie Morton pitched six strong innings, Avisail Garcia homered and drove in three runs, and Tampa Bay won in Miami.
Cardinals 14, Braves 3: St. Louis hit four home runs, including three-run shots by Marcell Ozuna, Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong, to beat struggling right-hander Mike Foltynewicz and host Atlanta.
Indians 9, White Sox 0: Jordan Luplow hit two of visiting Cleveland’s five homers, and Carlos Carrasco cruised through seven innings to help end Chicago’s three-game winning streak.