By DICK SCANLON Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Chris Sale allowed two hits in eight innings and struck out 13, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Tuesday for their seventh straight victory.
Sale (14-4) reached double digits in strikeouts for the 15th time this season, the first time that’s been done since Randy Johnson in 2002.
The win pushed Boston’s AL East lead over the New York Yankees to four games.
Dustin Pedroia, back in the Boston lineup as a DH after a stint on the disabled list with left knee inflammation, scored the first run on a fielder’s choice in the fourth. A bad throw by Austin Pruitt (6-3) prevented a possible inning-ending double play on Rafael Devers’ chopper to the mound.
It was the only run allowed by Pruitt in his fourth major league start. He pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a win at Houston last Wednesday.
Sale (14-4) gave up singles to Wilson Ramos in the fifth and Peter Bourjos in the sixth. The Rays did not get a runner to second base until the seventh, when Sale followed a walk to Logan Morrison with a wild pitch. It was his only walk.
Sale, who leads the majors with 229 strikeouts in 23 starts, has struck out at least 12 in four straight starts against the Rays.
Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in Boston’s other run with the third single off reliever Ryne Stanek in the ninth.
Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 28th save.
Eduardo Nunez and Xander Bogaerts each had three of Boston’s 12 hits.
Red Sox: LHP David Price, on the 10-day disabled list with elbow inflammation, threw nearly 30 fastballs on Tuesday and will be re-evaluated Wednesday. … 1B-DH Hanley Ramirez, sidelined since Friday with a sore oblique muscle, might be in the lineup Wednesday night, manager John Farrell said.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb was placed on the 10-day disabled list with turf toe. LHP Blake Snell replaced Cobb on the roster and will pitch Thursday night against Cleveland. … RHP Matt Andriese, on the 60-day DL with a right hip stress reaction, threw batting practice Tuesday and might make a rehab start this weekend.
RHP Rick Porcello will pitch Wednesday night against Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi (6-4), who missed two rotation turns due to a lower back strain. Porcello (5-14) pitched a complete game at Tropicana Field on July 8, but lost 1-0.
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