Sale fans 11, Red Sox throttle Blue Jays
TORONTO -- Chris Sale struck out 11 over seven scoreless innings, Xander Bogaerts had three RBIs and the Boston Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Jackie Bradley Jr. and Dustin Pedroia each added two-run doubles for Boston.
It was Sale's 11th start this season with 10 or more strikeouts. His season-best 13 came at the Rogers Centre on April 20.
The left-hander allowed four hits, one walk and hit two batters in winning his third straight decision to improve his record to 11-3 and his ERA to 2.61.
Steve Pearce homered for the Blue Jays.
The Red Sox (46-35) have won the first two games of the series and the Blue Jays (37-43) will try to avoid the sweep in the finale on Sunday.
Blue Jays starter Francisco Liriano (4-4) allowed seven hits, three walks and five runs in six innings. The left-hander struck out four.
The Red Sox scored twice in the first inning on a two-run double by Bradley Jr hat increased his hit streak to five games. It scored Mookie Betts, who led off with a walk, and Hanley Ramirez, who extended his hit streak to six games with a double.
Pedroia hit a two-run double in the second inning to put Boston ahead 4-0. It scored Deven Marrero, who singled with two out to extend his hit streak to five games, and Betts. They executed a double steal before Pedroia's hit to right-center.
Betts led off the fifth with his third walk of the game, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Bogaerts and Boston led 5-0.
The Blue Jays had runners at second and third with one out in the sixth after Russell Martin was hit by a pitch and Justin Smoak doubled off the left-field wall. Troy Tulowitzki grounded out to the pitcher and Pearce popped out to third to end the inning.
Lucas Harrell, just promoted from Triple-A, replaced Liriano and pitched a perfect seventh and overcame two singles and a wild pitch in the eighth.
Blaine Boyer replaced Sale in the eighth. He hit Martin with a pitch, the second time in the game the Toronto catcher was plunked, and struck out Josh Donaldson, the fourth whiff of the game for the Toronto third baseman, who was used as designated hitter Saturday.
Boyer ended the inning on Smoak's popout to second and Troy Tulowitzki's foul out to first.
Bogaerts had a two-run single against Harrell in the ninth, the third hit of the inning for the Red Sox. Jeff Beliveau replaced Harrell to get the final out of the inning by striking out Bradley.
Pearce led off the bottom of the ninth with his sixth homer of the season against Robby Scott.
NOTES: Red Sox manager John Farrell was not with the team Saturday. He was in Kansas City to watch his son RHP Luke Farrell make his major league debut for the Royals in the first game of a doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins. He will return to Toronto for the game Sunday. Bench coach Gary DiSarcina ran the team in his absence. ... Toronto selected RHP Lucas Harrell from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday and designated OF Ian Parmley for assignment. ... Boston LHP Drew Pomeranz (7-4, 3.81 ERA) opposes Toronto RHP Joe Biagini (2-7, 4.50 ERA) Sunday in the series finale. ... Attendance Saturday at the Rogers Centre on Canada Day was 46,672, the eighth sellout of the season.