June was a great month for current and former Boston Red Sox aces.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale on Monday was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for June, while Chicago Cubs southpaw Jon Lester took home N.L. Pitcher of the Month honors.
Sale was downright dazzling last month, posting a 1.76 ERA over six starts while striking out nearly 39 percent of the batters he faced (60 strikeouts in 41 innings). He became just the third pitcher in the last 100 years to post 60 Ks in one month, joining Sox legends Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez.
After allowing four runs to the Houston Astros on June 1, the 29-year-old was virtually unhittable over his next five outings, surrendering a total of four earned runs (1.03 ERA) while averaging 10.8 strikeouts per contest.
He didn’t just prey on weak competition, either: Sale’s last two outings were seven-inning shutouts against the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees, who boast two of the four best records in baseball outside the Red Sox and Astros.
The veteran’s gem in the Bronx on Saturday — seven innings, zero runs, one hit, one walk, 11 strikeouts — lowered his career ERA against the Yankees to 1.61, the best such mark since 1920 among qualified pitchers.
Sale now has three Pitcher of the Month honors on his resume, although this marks his first with the Red Sox: His previous two (May 2012 and June 2015) came while he played for the Chicago White Sox.
Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images