PHOENIX — — Chris Sale’s left arm was fantastic again, even if his stomach wasn’t.
Sale pitched five strong innings while battling a stomach bug, Kiké Hernández hit a two-run homer and the Boston Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak with a 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.
“Everybody gets sick and has to go to work,” Sale said. “Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.”
It was Sale’s fourth straight impressive outing, raising hopes that the veteran left-hander is ready to bounce back after four injury-riddled seasons. The 34-year-old gave up one run on four hits while striking out three and walking one.
Sale was pulled after just 73 pitches due to his illness. He said the stomach ache was obviously not ideal, but it helped him focus.
“When you’re out there and you don’t feel good, you don’t think about anything else but getting back in,” Sale said. “Our offense was incredible. It allowed me to focus on just throwing strikes and then rushing back to the dugout.”
After a rough first few starts this season, the seven-time All-Star is 5-2 with a 4.72 ERA.
The Red Sox jumped ahead 3-0 in the second. Rookie Triston Casas and Connor Wong hit doubles and Raimel Tapia drove in the third run with a single through the right side.
Boston took a 5-0 lead on Hernández’s two-run homer into the left-center seats in the fourth. The Red Sox finished with 14 hits, three each for Alex Verdugo and Casas.
“I was just aggressive in the middle of the zone,” Casas said. “They made a couple of mistakes on the innings that I hit for extra bases.”
It was another mediocre outing from rookie D-back Brandon Pfaadt (0-2), who gave up five runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander has an 8.37 ERA in five starts. His roster status appears tenuous, as right-hander Zach Davies is set to return from the injured list this weekend.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. of Arizona hit an RBI triple in the fourth, cutting Boston’s lead to 5-1. It also extended Gurriel’s hitting streak to 17 games, the longest active streak in the majors. Ketel Marte singled in the eighth, reaching base for the 25th straight game.
The Diamondbacks went 6-3, taking two of three games from the Athletics, Pirates and Phillies.
CORA IS 1,000
Boston manager Alex Cora was in uniform for his 1,000th game with the franchise. He appeared in 301 games with the Red Sox during his time as a player from 2005 to 2008 and played his 699th game on Friday night.
He will become the seventh Red Sox manager to reach 700 games on Saturday.
TRIBUTE FOR HAZEN
Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen and family, along with the Women’s Board of Barrow, announced a $400,000 donation on behalf of the Nicole Hazen Fund for Hope to the Ivy Brain Tumor Center.
Nicole Hazen died in August of complications from glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer. She was 45 years old. The family has four sons, Charlie, John, Teddy and Sam.
“This is obviously a very personal, important night for us,” Mike Hazen said. “At some point during this process, we knew (Nicole) wasn’t going to come out of it. But it was incredibly important for us to go on and try to find hope for other people – real hope.”
Diamondbacks: Called up OF Jake McCarthy, sending OF Dominic Fletcher to Triple-A. Fletcher was batting .308 with two homers in 22 games, but his performance has declined recently. He’s hit just 6-for-39 (.154) over his last 10 games.
The teams meet again on Saturday night. RHP Zach Davies (0-0, 5.79 ERA) returns from an oblique injury to take the mound for the D’s. The Red Sox will counter with RHP Garrett Whitlock (1-2, 6.19 ERA).
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