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Sale dominant, Sox win 9th straight

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale delivers during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale watches a throw during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Texas Rangers' Joey Gallo reacts after flying out against the Boston Red Sox during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) Winslow Townson

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Bartolo Colon delivers during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Boston Red Sox's Eduardo Nunez hits the ball off Texas Rangers' Bartolo Colon during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Boston. Nunez reached on a fielding error, and a run scored. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

  • Seattle Mariners' Dee Gordon wears a "Send Segura" t-shirt, as part of a team campaign to have fans vote for Jean Segura to the All-Star game, during warmups before a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo) Alex Gallardo

  • Milwaukee Brewers' Jesus Aguilar celebrates after getting a base hit during the fourth inning of the team's baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) Wilfredo Lee

  • Milwaukee Brewers' Jesus Aguilar hits a double, scoring Eric Thames during the first inning of the teams baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) Wilfredo Lee

  • Milwaukee Brewers' Jesus Aguilar (24) congratulates Eric Thames (7) after Thames scored on a single by Christian Yelich during the third inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) Wilfredo Lee



Associated Press
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

BOSTON — Chris Sale struck out 12 in seven innings of shutout ball in his final start before the All-Star Game, and major league batting leader Mookie Betts had two more hits on Wednesday night to lead the Boston Red Sox to their ninth straight victory, 4-2 over the Texas Rangers.

Sale (10-4) allowed six hits and walked one to win his fifth straight decision and move the Red Sox 36 games above .500 for the first time since Bucky Dent homered into the net above the Green Monster in a one-game playoff to settle the 1978 AL East title.

Elvis Andrus had three hits for the Rangers, who struck out 18 times to lose for the fifth time in six games. Bartolo Colon (5-7) allowed four runs — three earned — on nine hits and two walks, striking out three in six innings.

J.D. Martinez had a pair of RBIs to pad his major league-leading total of 79. The Red Sox took a 4-0 lead into the eighth before Texas scored one off Heath Hembree and loaded the bases; Craig Kimbrel walked in a second run but then struck out Joey Gallo to end the inning.

He struck out the side in the ninth for his 28th save, and his 19th in a row.

Xander Bogaerts had three hits for the Red Sox, who have won 14 of 16 games. It’s the second nine-game winning streak for the Red Sox this season; they also won nine straight after losing on opening day.

DANGER ZONE

The Rangers had difficulty with three different popups in shallow center field.

In the second, Eduardo Nunez reached on an error by second baseman Rougned Odor that scored Bogaerts to make it 1-0. After Martinez already drove in a pair of runs with a fifth-inning double, Bogaerts lofted one to left-center that caused a collision between left fielder Joey Gallo and center fielder Delino Deshields, resulting in an RBI triple.

Nunez blooped another one into center in the sixth that Deshields dove for. Nunez was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

FOR SALE

Sale made his 200th career start. ... It was the 11th time in his 20 starts this season he gave up one run or none. ... It was his ninth game this season with at least 10 strikeouts and his fifth straight with at least 11 strikeouts and no more than one walk. ... He also made a nice play to end the sixth inning, stabbing a hard bouncer by Odor and throwing to second to start a double play.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: Deshields left the game after diving for Nunez’s bloop in the sixth inning. He was evaluated for neck and shoulder problems. Later the same inning, Odor talked to the training staff after stretching awkwardly to hold the bag on a force at second.

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia was scheduled to return home to Arizona to continue his rehab from left knee surgery.

Aguilar, Segura win All-Star vote

Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar and Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura have won the final two roster spots for next week’s All-Star Game in Washington.

Major League Baseball released the results of online balloting for the last slot in each league Wednesday night, with Aguilar drawing 20.2 million votes to secure his first All-Star selection. His total was the second-highest in the history of the All-Star Final Vote, trailing only Justin Turner’s 20.8 million votes last year.

The 28-year-old Venezuelan was tied for the National League lead with 23 home runs and becomes the fourth Milwaukee player headed to the game. Brewers outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich had already been chosen, along with reliever Josh Hader.

Segura snagged the last American League spot with 13.6 million votes. He was followed by Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Minnesota Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario and L.A. Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

The 28-year-old Seattle shortstop was batting .329 and ranked second in the majors with 116 hits. He will join Mariners teammates Nelson Cruz, Edwin Diaz and Mitch Haniger at the All-Star Game. Segura, who made the NL All-Star squad in 2013 with Milwaukee, is the first Seattle player to win the fan voting for the final spot.

San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt finished second in the NL balloting, followed by Max Muncy of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals and Matt Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals.