BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox reached 100 wins for the first time since Ted Williams returned from World War II in the 1946 season, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 Wednesday night as David Price won his sixth straight decision.
Price (15-6) allowed three hits and struck out seven. Unbeaten in 11 starts since July 1, Price left after 92 pitches with a lead earned when Rafael Devers scampered home on a wild pitch by Aaron Sanchez (4-6) in the fifth inning.
Craig Kimbrel got three outs for his 39th save in 44 chances, and the scoreboards all flashed “100 WINS.”
A night after becoming the first major league team this year to clinch a playoff spot, Boston won for the 10th time in 14 games and moved a season-high 54 games above .500. The Red Sox lowered their magic number to secure their third straight AL East title to eight, pending the New York Yankees’ game against Minnesota later Wednesday.
Boston’s previous 100-win team featured Williams, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio. This year’s Red Sox need only to go 6-10 the rest of the way to break the franchise record of 105 wins, set in 1912.
Sanchez (4-6) allowed three hits and struck out six. Toronto fell to 1-8 at Fenway Park this year and dropped to a season-worst 15 games below .500. The Blue Jays haven’t won back-to-back games since Aug. 24-25.
Jonathan Davis had his first major league hit for Toronto, which like Boston finished with four hits.
PRICE IS RIGHT
Price is 5-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break.
Alex Cora is the first manager with 100 wins in his first season with a club since Felipe Alou with the 2003 San Francisco Giants and the first in his initial season as a big league manager since Dusty Baker with the 1993 Giants.
“To win 99 is huge, it’s a lot of games. To win a 100 is going to be great,” he said before the game. “The most important thing is how we’ve done it, it’s everybody together.”
Cora said Chris Sale, who returned to the mound on Tuesday night for the first time since Aug. 12, did not report any issues with his left shoulder. Sale was scheduled to play catch on Wednesday and throw a bullpen session on Friday. The plan is for him to pitch three innings against the New York Mets.
“He’s encouraged,” Cora said. “Yesterday was like his first big league outing. He was all over the plate. He admitted it — the game sped up on him.”
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman, who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 3 because of a blister on his right index finger, may be done for the year, manager John Gibbons said.
Red Sox: RHP Matt Barnes who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 4 because of left hip inflammation, played catch on Monday and Tuesday, and he was scheduled to do so again on Wednesday.