Will Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale start Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros on Thursday night?
Red Sox manager Alex Cora was unwilling to commit either way Tuesday after Boston’s 8-2 win in Game 3 of the ALCS at Minute Maid Park, but the first-year skipper did reveal some positive news regarding Sale’s availability moving forward.
“This is what he said: ‘I’m good enough,’ ” Cora told reporters in Houston.
Sale joined the Red Sox in Houston on Tuesday after being hospitalized for a stomach illness on the heels of Game 1 in Boston. Cora said before Tuesday’s game that Sale might throw a bullpen session during Game 3 in the hopes of starting Game 5 on Thursday, but that didn’t happen. Sale instead is expected to throw off a mound Wednesday before Game 4.
“He’ll go out there (Wednesday). And then we’ll go from there,” Cora said after Tuesday’s victory.
Sale started Game 1 on Saturday and lasted four innings, allowing two earned runs on one hit and four walks while striking out five as the Red Sox lost 7-2 at Fenway Park. The left-hander became ill after his outing and went to the hospital early Sunday morning, according to Cora.
So, what will the Red Sox do if Sale can’t pitch in Game 5? Cora noted before Game 3 that the club was exploring contingency plans, with Eduardo Rodriguez in a spot start, David Price on short rest or a bullpen game all being options. Rodriguez later pitched the ninth inning Tuesday night.
Rick Porcello will start for the Red Sox in Game 4 on Wednesday night. He’ll face Charlie Morton with Boston leading the series 2-1. If necessary, Games 6 and 7 will take place in Boston.