Mookie Betts blasted his major league-leading 16th home run of the season and Chris Sale pitched 7.2 strong innings as the Boston Red Sox topped the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 on Tuesday at Tropicana Field.
Betts launched a three-run rocket into the left field seats in the third inning for all the offense the Red Sox would need, making Rays starter Jake Faria pay for a curveball he hung right over the plate. Betts went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to .368, also tops in the majors.
Sale, meanwhile, moved to 5-1 on the season in the win. He allowed two runs, just one earned, on four hits and two walks while striking out nine. His ERA after 11 starts is at 2.17, fourth-best in the American League. The lefty threw 112 pitches, his second-highest total of the season so far.
After throwing 93 pitches or less in his first five starts, Sale has thrown 102 or more in six of his last seven.
Up next: The Red Sox look to keep it rolling in St. Petersburg on Wednesday night, with David Price (4-4, 4.38 ERA) taking on Chris Archer (3-3, 5.01 ERA).
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