BOSTON -- Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale joined Sandy Koufax, the Hall of Famer, as the only pitcher to have three perfect innings. He struck out the Minnesota Twins in nine pitches on Thursday night.
Sale made his third Boston debut since his Tommy John surgery, which also left him out for the 2020 season.
On three pitches, he struck out Nick Gordon and Andrelton Simmons. Refsnyder was badly fooled by a slider in dirt on the last pitch of the innings.
Sale's two other flawless innings were less than a month apart, when he did them against Baltimore on May 8, and Kansas City June 5. Sale is the first pitcher to throw an inning of perfection at Fenway Park since Pedro Martnez, May 18, 2002 vs. Mariners.
Koufax threw a flawless inning for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1962 and 1964.
Sale is the first to have three flawless innings since 2000. Max Scherzer and Kevin Gausman are tied for second with two each.
MLB has a history of lacking pitch-by-pitch statistics. This means that there may be other pitchers who can throw three or more perfect innings.
This report was contributed by The Associated Press.