Red Sox ace Chris Sale struck out a career-high 17 in just seven innings before getting pulled after 108 pitches on a chilly Tuesday night, and the Colorado Rockies rallied against Boston's bullpen to win 5-4 in the 11th.
Sale became the first pitcher in major league history to fan 17 in a start of no more than seven innings. Boston pitchers combined to strike out 24, but the Red Sox had their five-game winning streak come to an end.
Mark Reynolds, whose fifth-inning double was the first runner allowed by Sale, drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the 11th off Ryan Brasier (2-2).
Sale struck out the first six batters and fanned eight through three innings. He dominated the Rockies with a firm fastball and sharp slider, topping his previous best of 15 strikeouts, which he had done three times.
The All-Star lefty sported his signature short-sleeves despite the 44-degree temperature at the start of the game and had a shutout through six innings. Nolan Arenado's two-run homer in the seventh was one of only three hits the Rockies managed against Sale.
Sale stopped the damage there with three straight strikeouts, placing him within range of the major league record of 20 in nine innings.
Boston fans chanted "We want Sale!" after the bottom of the seventh, but his night was done, although it did not appear to be by choice. When manager Alex Cora told him he was coming out, Sale used his fingers to form the number 20 - Roger Clemens did it twice for Boston, Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson also accomplished the feat and Max Scherzer was the last to it in 2016.
Cora didn't bite and went to Brandon Workman, who allowed a double by Chris Iannetta and Blackmon's two-run homer with two outs in the eighth to give Colorado its first lead at 4-3.
Mike Dunn (1-0) got the win with one inning of scoreless relief and Wade Davis got his seventh save.
Charlie Blackmon also homered for the Rockies. Michael Chavis, J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers homered for Boston.
Boston made it 4-all in the eighth on a pinch-hit single by Mitch Moreland.
Chavis led off the second with his seventh homer, a 451-foot shot to left that survived a video review ordered crew chief Larry Vanover. Martinez and Devers added solo homers in the third to put Boston up 3-0.
Kyle Freeland got the start for Colorado on his 26th birthday and went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking three.
Sale's 17 strikeouts were the most for a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez fanned 17 against Tampa Bay on May 6, 2000.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (left knee inflammation) saw a specialist Monday and will consult with team doctors about potential surgery, manager Bud Black said. "I think a decision on some surgery is in the works here probably within the next couple days," Black said. . Colorado recalled 3B Pat Valaika from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned 2B Garrett Hampson to the Isotopes.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee) remained in limbo after a rehab assignment was postponed over the weekend. Cora said Pedroia and the Red Sox are being careful not to rush the 35-year-old's return. "He'll go out there and then take grounders and move around and we'll decide what we do next," Cora said. . LHP David Price (left elbow tendinitis) will likely throw another bullpen session Wednesday and could return to the rotation Saturday against Houston, Cora said.
Rockies: RHP German Marquez (4-2, 3.43 ERA) has struck out 59 through 57 2/3 innings this season.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2, 4.53) has won two straight starts and three of his last four.