|Sale aims for win as Red Sox host doubleheader vs. Tigers|
Sale aims for win as Red Sox host doubleheader vs. Tigers
As heavy rains pounded the Boston area on Monday, the postponement of the Red Sox's opener of a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers seemed a sure thing.
That didn't prevent Chris Sale from getting his work in, though.
The left-hander, scheduled to start Monday night, instead played catch under the cover of the concourses of Fenway Park to stay fresh. His next shot at his first win of the season will now be Tuesday in the first end of a day-night doubleheader between the Red Sox and Tigers.
Sale (0-4, 8.50 ERA) is the projected starter for Game 1 opposite Tigers southpaw Matthew Boyd (1-1, 2.96). Right-hander Hector Velazquez (0-1, 2.84) will get the ball for Boston in the nightcap against Detroit righty Spencer Turnbull (0-2, 3.43).
Sale showed signs of having finally put it together in his last start against the New York Yankees before finishing with four runs allowed on seven hits in five innings.
"I just flat-out stink right now," said Sale after the defeat. "I don't know what it is. When you're going good, it's good. When you're going bad, it's pretty bad."
Sale should receive a boost from the rest of the team "going good." Fresh off a sweep of the first-place Tampa Bay Rays, Boston is riding a season-long three-game winning streak after an 11-inning victory Sunday.
The Red Sox get an additional chance to gain ground in the division with their next 10 games at home, and they benefit from the rainout by having a day to rest top relievers Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier, who both pitched in all three games of the Rays series.
"We did a good job over the weekend," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Sunday. "But now we've got to go home and keep getting better. If we keep doing that, we're going to be in good shape."
The Tigers, meanwhile, put a lengthy funk of their own behind them by taking two of three from the Chicago White Sox over the weekend. Sunday's victory saw former top prospect Daniel Norris dominate over five innings and the bullpen hold on despite a White Sox three-run rally in the eighth.
"I enjoyed the game," Tigers skipper Ron Gardenhire said. "It had a good pace to it. (Norris) was ahead in the count for the most part. And that's what you want out of a starting pitcher."
Boyd will pitch Tuesday on seven days' rest after his originally scheduled start Sunday was also pushed back by a rainout Saturday. He has been a strikeout machine in the early going for Detroit, twice reaching double digits in his first four starts.
While Boyd has only faced the Red Sox four times, going 1-2 with a 5.71 ERA, Sale is very familiar with the Tigers from his time with the White Sox in the AL Central. Sale is 10-8 with a 2.94 ERA in 32 games (22 starts) against Detroit.
Turnbull, in his second season, has never faced the Red Sox, and Velazquez has only seen the Tigers as a reliever, throwing three scoreless innings in three appearances. Velazquez figures to get an extended run in Boston's rotation as reports surfaced Monday that right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will have surgery to address loose bodies in his elbow and will miss four to six weeks.
The Tigers are beginning a nine-game road trip that will also take them to Chicago and Philadelphia.
--Field Level Media