Red Sox ace Chris Sale struck out a career-high 17 in just seven innings against Colorado, then was pulled after 108 pitches on a chilly Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
The Boston lefty surpassed his previous best of 15 strikeouts, dominating the Rockies with a firm fastball and a sharp slider.
A seven-time All-Star, Sale struck out the first six batters and fanned eight through three innings. He didn’t allow a runner until Mark Reynolds doubled to begin the fifth.
Sale gave up three hits, including a two-run homer to Nolan Arenado, didn’t walk anyone and left with a 3-2 lead. Brandon Workman relieved to begin the eighth and gave up a two-run homer to Charlie Blackmon.
The major league record for strikeouts in a game is 20, done five times. Roger Clemens did it twice for Boston, Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson also accomplished the feat and Max Scherzer was the last to it in 2016.
When Red Sox manager Alex Cora told him he was coming out, Sale used his fingers to form the number 20.