SEATTLE — Chris Sale pitched seven scoreless innings and Rafael Devers homered for his first major league hit as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Seattle Mariners 4-0 Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field.
Devers is the organization’s top prospect, and he was playing in just his second game after being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. He led off the third inning with a 427-foot blast to center field off Mariners rookie right-hander Andrew Moore (1-3).
Sandy Leon also homered, a two-run shot off Moore in the fourth inning, as the Red Sox snapped a season-high four-game losing streak.
That was more than enough for Sale (13-4), who struck out 11, walked one and hit a batter with a pitch. It was the fourth time in his past five starts that Sale didn’t allow a run, pitching six or more innings in each of those appearances. It also was his 14th game with double-digit strikeouts this season.
The left-hander, who started the All-Star Game for the American League, didn’t allow a hit the first time through the Mariners batting order.
Seattle leadoff hitter Jean Segura ripped a double down the left-field line with one out in the third. Sale struck out the next two batters to strand Segura.
The Mariners’ Guillermo Heredia got a hustle double with two outs in the fourth, beating the throw to second on a ball hit into left-center field. Sale got Mitch Haniger to foul out to first baseman Mitch Moreland to end that inning.
Seattle’s Ben Gamel led off the sixth with a single to cap a 10-pitch at-bat, with Gamel fouling off several two-strike pitches before extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Sale responded by getting Nelson Cruz and Danny Valencia, the Nos. 3-4 hitters in the Seattle lineup, to look at called third strikes and Kyle Seager to pop out to second.
That was it for the Mariners against Sale, who improved to 5-1 against Seattle in his career — including 3-0 at Safeco Field.
Blaine Boyer pitched a scoreless eighth for Boston and got the first out in the ninth, but then allowed a single to Seager and walked Heredia, forcing Red Sox manager John Farrell to bring on Craig Kimbrel. The closer had thrown 30 pitches in Tuesday night’s 13-inning game.
Kimbrel struck out Haniger and Carlos Ruiz to end it, earning his 25th save of the season.
The Red Sox opened the scoring in the second, as Hanley Ramirez walked and went to third on a double down the right-field line by Jackie Bradley Jr.
Ramirez scored on a sacrifice fly by Moreland, although Ramirez was hobbling after an awkward slide home. Ramirez just beat the throw from Mariners left fielder Gamel and crashed into the right shin guard of catcher Ruiz, who was straddling the plate. Ramirez got up limping, with trainers and Farrell coming out to check on him.
Ramirez, the Red Sox’s designated hitter, was able to walk it off and he came to bat again when his turn in the order came up in the next inning. He had a tough day, also being hit by a pitch in the eighth inning.
Moore went 6 2/3 innings for the Mariners, allowing four runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out three.
NOTES: The teams split the season series 3-3, with five of the games finishing in shutouts. The Red Sox blanked the Mariners three times. … The Red Sox sent minor league RHPs Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos to San Francisco in the trade for INF Eduardo Nunez late Tuesday night. To make room on the 40-man roster for Nunez, Boston designated LHP Luis Ysla for assignment. The Red Sox also activated RHP Blaine Boyer from the 10-day disabled list and placed RHP Ben Taylor on the DL with a left intercostal strain. … The Red Sox and Mariners are both idle Thursday. Boston returns home for a three-game series with Kansas City, starting Friday at Fenway Park. LHP David Price (5-3, 3.82 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Red Sox. The Mariners will host the New York Mets in a three-game weekend series. LHP Ariel Miranda (7-4, 4.30) is scheduled to start the opener Friday night.