The Red Sox looked to bounce back from the brutal game on Friday night and luckily had Chris Sale on the mound to do it. Sale was dominate through 7 innings, but still left the mound with the game tied 1-1. The Sox got a single run in the bottom of the 7th to give him a chance for a win and then the Sox bullpen protected the win to give him his first official Sox win!
Chris Sale has pitched some gems since putting on a Sox uniform, but didn’t have a win to show for it since the bats weren’t giving him any run support. Sale looked like he was going to suffer the same fate this afternoon too. The Sox looked like they might be able to get all over the Rays when their starter Odorizzi left the game in the 2nd with a hamstring injury. Ramirez came in to relief him and Moreland immediately took him out of the park for a solo home run. Sox 1-0. Unfortunately Sale gave that run right back in the top of the 3rd when he gave up an RBI single to Longoria. Sox 1-1.
The Rays bullpen had to piece together a game from the 2nd inning and they were doing it well. While at the same time Chris Sale was putting on a show. Sale pitched 7 strong innings and K’ed 12 batters along the way. His pitching line for the night was 111 pitches, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB and 12 Ks. The Sox offense came to the plate in the bottom of the 7th and had one more chance to get a run and give Sale even a chance at a deserved win. The Sox started off the inning with two singles from Moreland and Bogaerts. Sandoval hit a sac grounder to move Moreland over to 3rd and then Young walked to have the bases loaded once again. Sandy Leon was the difference maker when he hit a ball on the infield, but slow enough so that the Rays couldn’t get the double play, nor make a play at the plate. Leon was out at 1st, but Moreland came home to score the go ahead run. Sox 2-1.
Matt Barnes, the new 8th inning guy, came out and had some control issues to start the game. With one out in the inning, he walked two guys straight to suddenly give the Rays life again. However the potential rally was over when Longoria hit a ball to Sandoval and he was able to complete the double play to end the inning. Kimbrel came out for the 9th inning and had a nice, clean, 1-2-3 inning.
Sox Player of the Game: No question, Chris Sale. Sale is showing all of Red Sox Nation why he was worth trading for. He looked dominant on the mound and deserved that first ever Sox win!!!
Red Sox 2 Rays 1 BOXSCORE
WP: Sale (1-1) LP: Hunter (0-1) SV: Kimbrel (4)