LEADING OFF: Red Sox-O's rivalry; Pujols at 599; Kluber back

Even on a day when Boston left-hander Chris Sale was not at his best, he was still good enough to beat the Baltimore Orioles. again. In those starts, he has an ERA of 4.73, a WHIP of 1.144, and has given up 4 home runs (he has allowed 6 total for the year). The lefty tossed six innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out nine and only walking one. "I just tried to be too quick, tried to put a ideal throw, and I messed it up right there".

Boston Red Sox's Mookie Betts connects for a single against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, June 4, 2017, in Baltimore.

Asher's third start of the season left plenty to be desired as the 25-year-old was shredded for six runs and as many hits in two innings en route to an 8-4 loss at Houston.

"I felt better as the game went on, but it's definitely not the way you want to start a ballgame", the right-hander said. After that, he allowed two singles - one on a line drive and one on a well-placed ground ball - and all of a sudden Adam Jones was up representing the tying run.

When the Orioles visited Boston during the first week of May, a series of brushback pitches and harsh words in both clubhouses led the commissioner's office to intervene with instructions to end a feud that began in April with a spikes-high slide by Baltimore's Manny Machado into Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

"It's the job of a starting pitcher, fill up as many innings as you can", Sale said. "You look at all the arms they run out at you, it's a challenge". "I think that speaks a lot about who he is, his character, and the kind of teammate he is".

Still, the Orioles must solve Tillman's command problems.

The New York Yankees thrashed the Toronto Blue Jays 12-2, the Arizona Diamondbacks overcame the Miami Marlins 3-2 and the Minnesota Twins rallied past the Los Angeles Angels 4-2. Although the Red Sox have been better as of late, Boston fans are not going to settle for another first round exit in the playoffs this season similar to past year.

Obviously, the Red Sox anticipated a dip in their home run numbers after the retirement of David Ortiz who hit 38 homers himself last season.

Davis boosted the lead to 3-1 when he led off the fourth with a solo homer to straightaway center. "It would be nice to continue playing well right now", Toronto manager John Gibbons said.

But now the results should start showing, manager Buck Showalter said. He gave up seven runs on eight hits, including four home runs, in Thursday's start, and the knee injury may have contributed to his struggles. Boston INF Josh Rutledge was available after being scratched the previous night because of dehydration.

  • Julie Sanders