Sale shines but Red Sox need 10 to top the Jays

Betts’ three-run dou­ble wins it

The Day - - SPORTS - By IAN HAR­RI­SON

Toronto — When his first pitch of the day was driven to the edge of the warn­ing track, Chris Sale was con­cerned he might be in for a long af­ter­noon. Turns out he had noth­ing to worry about.

Sale struck out 13 over eight shutout in­nings, Mookie Betts hit a three-run dou­ble in the 10th and Bos­ton beat the strug­gling Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Thurs­day.

"Pow­er­ful, a lot of strikes," Bos­ton man­ager John Far­rell said. "All three pitches work­ing. He had such good swing and miss to his fast­ball up and away."

At 3-12, Toronto is off to the worst start in team his­tory and has lost its first five se­ries for the first time.

"You look at the names on the back here and it's like 'How is this hap­pen­ing?'" Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada said.

Sandy Leon drew a one-out walk from Ja­son Grilli (0-2) in the 10th, and Brock Holt sin­gled to stop an 0-for-12 slide. Andrew Ben­in­tendi walked with two outs, and Betts, who was 0 for 3, pulled a 2-0 fast­ball down the left-field line.

"I was just try­ing to put a good swing on a good pitch," Betts said. "I did have a rough day but it can come down to one at-bat."

Grilli, who helped Toronto reach the AL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries last sea­son, found it dif­fi­cult to de­scribe his team's early strug­gles.

"Los­ing only makes you ap­pre­ci­ate win­ning," he said.

Mitch More­land hit a two-out dou­ble in the ninth off Roberto Osuna and scored on Xan­der Bo­gaerts' sin­gle, but Kendrys Mo­rales home­red against Craig Kim­brel (1-0) lead­ing off the bot­tom half, the eighth

time Mo­rales has tied a game or given his team a lead with a homer from the ninth in­ning on.

Far­rell called it a tough de­ci­sion to take Sale out.

"We felt like it was time to turn to it over to a guy who was fresh and pow­er­ful," Far­rell said. "Un­for­tu­nately, the sec­ond pitch goes out of the ball­park."

Ac­quired from the Chicago White Sox dur­ing the off­sea­son, Sale be­come the first Bos­ton pitcher to strike out 12 or more in con­sec­u­tive out­ings since Pe­dro Martinez did it in four straight starts in 2001.

"It's im­pres­sive, man," Dustin Pe­droia said. "He's just at­tack­ing the zone, over­pow­er­ing guys with all of his pitches.

Sale al­lowed four hits, all sin­gles, and walked one. Throw­ing 80 of 102 pitches for strikes, Sale low­ered his ERA to 0.91. Yet, he is 1-1 be­cause he has re­ceived just four runs of sup­port over four starts.

Estrada al­lowed three hits, all sin­gles, in six in­nings.

Trainer's room

Red Sox: LHP David Price has been deal­ing with sore­ness in his re­cov­ery from an in­jured left el­bow, ac­cord­ing to man­ager John Far­rell. Price threw on flat ground for the sec­ond straight day Thurs­day. He is to throw a bullpen ses­sion in Bal­ti­more today.

Up next

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomer­anz (1-0, 5.23) starts the opener of the three­game se­ries at Bal­ti­more tonight. He is 1-2 with a 4.97 ERA in five games against the Orioles.

RHP Dy­lan Bundy (2-1, 1.86) starts for Bal­ti­more.

Blue Jays: Latos was 0-0 with a 1.00 ERA in two starts at Triple-A. RHP Alex Meyer will make his sea­son de­but for the Angels.

Cava­liers 119, Pac­ers 111

LeBron James fin­ished with 41 points, 13 re­bounds and 12 as­sists, and Cleve­land set an NBA post­sea­son record by eras­ing a 25-point half­time deficit to beat In­di­ana on Thurs­day night and take a 3-0 lead. James passed Kobe Bryant for No. 3 on the NBA’s ca­reer play­off scor­ing list and tied an­other NBA record by win­ning his 20th con­sec­u­tive first-round game. Kyrie Irv­ing Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Chan­ning Frye all scored 13 points for Cleve­land. The Cava­liers will try to sweep the se­ries Sun­day. The in­credi­ble rally ru­ined Paul Ge­orge’s big night. He had 36 points, a play­off ca­reer-high 15 re­bounds and nine as­sists. Cleve­land trailed by 26 in the first half and was still down 74-49 at half­time. The largest half­time deficit over­come to win a play­off game had been 21 points by Bal­ti­more against Philadel­phia in 1948. James scored 13 points in the third quar­ter to get the Cavs within 91-84. Cleve­land re­gained the lead twice dur­ing a 15-5 fourth-quar­ter run and closed it out with a 12-5 spurt. James now has 5,669 points, 29 ahead of Bryant. He also matched three other ex-Los Angeles Lak­ers — Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper and James Wor­thy — for most con­sec­u­tive first-round wins. This come­back be­gan with a sec­ond straight dev­as­tat­ing third-quar­ter punch from the Cavs. Af­ter Cleve­land cut the deficit to 77-62 and then watched In­di­ana ex­tend the mar­gin to 20, Cleve­land fin­ished the quar­ter on a 17-4 spurt to make it 91-84.

Bucks 104, Rap­tors 77

Khris Mid­dle­ton scored 20 points and Mil­wau­kee over­whelmed cold-shoot­ing Toronto for a win to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round Eastern Con­fer­ence play­off se­ries. Greg Mon­roe added 16 points and seven re­bounds for the Bucks, who held DeMar DeRozan with­out a bas­ket and never looked back af­ter lead­ing by 20 points af­ter the first quar­ter. Making this blowout even more im­pres­sive was that they barely needed All-Star Gian­nis An­te­tok­oun­mpo. He fin­ished with 19 points and eight boards. The Rap­tors looked fraz­zled af­ter shoot­ing 4 of 18 in the first quar­ter. Kyle Lowry had 13 points. DeRozan scored eight but was 0 of 8 from the field. The Rap­tors and their play­off-tested back­court looked noth­ing like the crew that held off the Bucks in Game 2 in Toronto. The Bucks moved the ball well Thurs­day, hit open shots and had a dou­ble-digit edge on points in the paint for much of the night. On the other end, the Bucks’ length both­ered the Rap­tors. Toronto also started poorly from the 3-point line, miss­ing its first six shots from be­hind the arc. With about 6 min­utes left in the sec­ond quar­ter, the Rap­tors had called their fourth time­out while trail­ing by 31.

Late Wed­nes­day War­riors 110, Trail Blaz­ers 81

Stephen Curry scored 19 points on an off night, JaVale McGee sparked Golden State off the bench with 15 points, and the short-handed War­riors beat he Port­land in Game 2 of their first-round play­off se­ries with­out in­jured lead­ing scorer Kevin Du­rant. McGee shined on a night none of the usual stars found their con­sis­tent shoot­ing strokes. The backup big man made all seven of his field-goal at­tempts and de­liv­ered sev­eral more of his sig­na­ture al­ley-oop dunks as Du­rant watched with a strained left calf he hurt in the play­off opener Sun­day. Dray­mond Green had an­other fan­tas­tic all-around game, get­ting 12 re­bounds, 10 as­sists, six points and three more blocked shots. Curry went 6 for 18 and also had six as­sists and six re­bounds. Klay Thomp­son was 6 of 17 with 16 points and CJ McCol­lum and Damian Lil­lard were hardly were the dy­namic scor­ing duo for Port­land they’d been com­bin­ing for 75 points only three days ear­lier.

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