Mark Reynolds hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the top of the 11th inning as the Colorado Rockies overcame a near-historic number of strikeouts to beat the host Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Tuesday.
The Rockies had fanned 24 times without a walk before Ryan McMahon and Nolan Arenado reached on ball four from Ryan Brasier (2-2) in the 11th. Reynolds’ game-winning single came on an 0-2 count with two outs.
Colorado narrowly avoided the major league record of 26 collective strikeouts in a game.
Red Sox ace Chris Sale was responsible for a career-high 17 of them, becoming the first pitcher in major league history to reach that total in seven or fewer innings.
Mike Dunn (1-0) finished the bottom
of the 10th for the win, and Wade Davis worked around a two-out single for his seventh save.
The 24 strikeouts by Boston pitching tied a franchise record.
The Red Sox had a five-game winning streak snapped, losing for just the third time in their last 14 contests.
After Sale exited with a 3-2 lead after seven, the Rockies went ahead in the eighth on a two-run home run by Charlie Blackmon. Boston knotted the score in the bottom of the frame on a pinch-hit RBI single by Mitch Moreland, helping send the game to extra innings.
Sale, who fanned 14 his last time out in Baltimore, picked up where he left off. He struck out the first six Rockies he faced and eight his first time through the lineup.
Sale whiffed the last two men in the fifth and made it five straight by getting the side in order in the sixth.
An Arenado homer after a Trevor Story leadoff single in the seventh made it 3-2, and Sale responded by striking out the next three batters on 12 pitches.
Sale allowed two runs on three hits with no walks.
Boston manager Alex Cora decided 108 pitches was enough for Sale.
“He made a lot of pitches the last one, so you got to be careful,” Cora said.
“There’s a bigger goal here. We’ve been very disciplined ... and you still have to be disciplined. I think he understands.”
Sale said, “You got 17 punchouts, you
definitely want to go out for the last inning. But I respect (Cora) as much as anybody
on the planet, and I’ll never question
anything he does, even in regard to me with that.”
Brandon Workman, who hadn’t given up a hit in his last 11 appearances, then took over and gave up Blackmon’s go-ahead blast after a Chris Iannetta double.
An Arenado error put the tying run on to begin the Boston eighth, and Moreland came through with runners on first and second and one out.
Michael Chavis got the Red Sox on the board in the second with a towering home run just fair over the Green Monster in left, and J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers added solo shots in the third.
Rockies starter Kyle Freeland allowed three runs on the three homers and five hits total over six innings. He walked three and struck out seven.
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