Chris Sale stymies Mariners as Red Sox take series finale: Three thoughts

Here are three thoughts from the Mariners’ 4-0 loss Wednesday to the Boston Red Sox.

1. Boston starter Chris Sale was entirely and thoroughly dominant.

Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he was convincing against the Mariners.

He did not allow his first hit until the third inning. He allowed only three hits in seven innings. He struck out 11 Mariners, the 14th time this season he’s recorded at least 10 strikeouts in a game, the most in a single season since 2002.

The Mariners had more than one base runner against Sale only once — in the second inning, they had two runners on with two outs. But Sale got Carlos Ruiz, and that was that.

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2. Say this for Andrew Moore: He did not break.

For a time there on Wednesday, against a good Red Sox lineup, Moore, the Mariners’ rookie starter, wobbled and bent. He gave up two more home runs, bringing his season total to 11 home runs allowed in just six starts. By the fourth inning, he had allowed four runs, and it looked like he might be headed for an early exit.

But Moore actually got better. He retired the final seven batters he faced before exiting with two outs in the seventh inning.

So what to make of his start? It wasn’t flawless, but it was suitable. Especially for a fourth or fifth starter.

The problem for Moore was the game’s other starter: Sale, one of the most effective pitchers in baseball.

Moore has experienced some growing pains after three quality starts to begin his big-league career. In his last three outings, Moore has allowed 14 runs in 15 2/3 innings, including giving up six home runs.

Home runs have been one of Moore’s biggest weaknesses so far; in six starts, he has allowed 11. Mariners manager Scott Servais acknowledged after Moore’s last start that that’s something he will have to work on. But on…

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