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SEATTLE (AP) — When Chris Sale woke up Wednesday, he was unaware the Red Sox were on a four-game losing streak.
"I actually fell asleep before the end of it. I woke up this morning and heard the news," Sale said of Boston's 13-inning loss the previous night.
Sale was brilliant, pitching seven innings of three-hit ball in a 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners that featured a home run by 20-year-old Rafael Devers , who became the youngest Boston player to hit a home run in more than 50 years.
Sale headed back to the team hotel early on Tuesday night to be rested for a day game. He didn't know about Seattle's two-run rally in the 13th inning, shortly after midnight.
About 12 hours later, the Red Sox got exactly what they needed from their ace to avoid being swept. He struck out 11 , the 14th time this season he reached double digits. Sale allowed doubles to Jean Segura and Guillermo Heredia, and a broken-bat single to Ben Gamel, but none of the three to reach base via hit ever advanced.
"It's deception, it's angle. He does a lot of things well," Gamel said.
Sale (13-4) has struck out at least nine batters in each of his 12 road starts this season, the longest streak dating to 1913. He's won five of his last six decisions and became the first AL pitcher with 13 wins.
In two starts on Boston's trip, Sale allowed seven hits in 13 innings and struck out 20.
"We're watching one of the better years ever pitched by a major league pitcher in the American League," Boston manager John Farrell said. "We're fortunate it's in our uniform."
A day after his major league debut, Devers led off the third inning by sending a 2-1 fastball from starter Andrew Moore out to center field for his first hit in the majors. At 20 years and 275 days old, Devers was the youngest Red Sox player to homer since Tony Conigliaro in September 1965. Devers added a single in the seventh inning.
"It was surreal. When I got back to the dugout I could barely walk to be honest with you," Devers said through an interpreter. "I was just so happy about it. It was just a good moment."
Moore (1-3) was solid, but the long ball was his problem. Along with Devers' shot, Moore gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Sandy Leon in the fourth inning. Moore hung a 1-2 curveball and Leon hit his sixth homer of the season. Moore was able to save Seattle's bullpen by lasting 6 2/3 innings.
"He's learning. Certainly, I like his competitiveness. He just didn't have that pitch to finish them today and the home run ball got him," Seattle manager Scott Servais said of Moore. "I do like the way he's able to make adjustments in-game, he's done that a number of times."
Boston recorded its fifth shutout of the season and second in the past two weeks. Oddly enough, three of Boston's shutouts came against Seattle; the teams played just six times in the regular season.
Boston's Mookie Betts and Seattle's Robinson Cano, both All-Stars this year, got a break from the starting lineup with each team having a day off Thursday. Cano's only duty was catching the ceremonial first pitch from Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson.
Red Sox: Boston placed right-handed pitcher Ben Taylor on the 10-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his ribs. The move was retroactive to July 23. The Red Sox activated right-hander Blaine Boyer from the disabled list. Boyer had been out since July 16 with an elbow strain.
Mariners: OF Jarrod Dyson (toe) is expected back in the lineup on Friday. Dyson missed the previous three games after hyperextending his toe crashing into the wall last Saturday against the Yankees. Servais wanted to give Dyson one more game off with an off day on Thursday.
Red Sox: After a day off, Boston opens up a 10-game homestand against Kansas City. David Price (5-3) will start in the opener.
Mariners: Following an off day, the Mariners open a three-game series with the New York Mets. Ariel Miranda (7-4) will start the opener on Friday.
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