Chris Sale struck out 13 and gave up just two hits over eight innings, leading the host Boston Red Sox past the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series.
Sale, fresh off one of the worst outings of his career, dominated the night, at one point retiring 16 in a row. He reached 200 strikeouts for the seventh consecutive season during the performance, tied for the second-longest such streak in MLB history behind Tom Seaver with nine.
Sale (6-11) walked none on 99 pitches. He improved to 7-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 10 career appearances (eight starts) against the Angels.
Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani had the only hits for Los Angeles, which dropped its seventh straight game.
Sale's worst year in the majors reached perhaps its lowest point his last time out, when he allowed eight runs in 3 2/3 innings to the New York Yankees and was ejected by the home plate umpire after getting pulled. He took his frustrations out on the Angels from the get go, striking out two around an Ohtani check-swing double in the first inning.
Over the next five frames, not a single Los Angeles hitter reached base while Sale fanned another six. After Trout ended his run with a leadoff single in the seventh, Sale responded by striking out the next three in the inning.
The left-hander whiffed another two in the eighth before ceding the ninth to Brandon Workman, who punched out two in notching his seventh save.
Boston's bats, meanwhile, supplied Sale with all the offense he needed on a two-run home run by Sam Travis in the second inning. Sandy Leon added a solo shot in the fifth.
Angels starter Dillon Peters served up both homers in taking his first loss of the season in eight appearances (three starts). Peters (2-1) gave up three runs on five hits and a walk over six innings, striking out eight.
Kole Calhoun had the highlight of the night for Los Angeles with a diving catch to rob Xander Bogaerts of extra bases in the right field corner in the fourth inning.