The Red Sox just aren’t fair

The Red Sox just aren’t fair

BALTIMORE — The Red Sox were a game away from going an eye-opening 50 games over .500. So why not bring back one of baseball’s best pitchers?

Chris Sale made his return in style, striking out 12 over five dominant innings, and Boston moved to 85-35 by completing a sweep of the lowly Orioles with a 4-1 victory on Sunday.

The Yankees, who also won Sunday, cannot seem to make up ground on the Red Sox, still 9.5 back of a team that’s on historic pace.

Sale (12-4) was placed on the DL on July 28 with left shoulder inflammation. Judging by his performance, the injury is no longer an issue.

The left-hander allowed just one hit, a clean third-inning single to left field by Renato Nunez, and walked none. Sale struck out the side twice and fanned at least two in his other three innings.

Sale is 7-0 over his last nine starts, a streak he started before making his third consecutive start in the All-Star Game on July 17. He owns a 0.20 ERA over his last seven outings and leads the AL at 1.97 for the year.

Sale also took over the major league lead in strikeouts with 219 — Washington ace Max Scherzer has 216 and starts Sunday night against the Cubs.

Craig Kimbrel, the last of five Boston relievers, worked the ninth for his 35th save.

Steve Pearce homered for the Red Sox, who have won 10 of 11. Boston took all four at Camden Yards this week and is 14-2 against the Orioles, who are 49 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East.

Baltimore struck out 18 times in its fifth straight loss. The Orioles have endured at least nine losing streaks of five games or more this season.

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