Oh, hello Chris Sale. Good to see you again.
It’s been a year filled with more downs than ups for the Boston Red Sox ace left-hander, but as he has shown in the past — and in flashes this season — when he is on, it’s an absolute spectacle.
The story was no different Thursday night, as Sale sliced through the Los Angeles Angels like a hot knife through butter, striking out 13 without a single walk over eight innings as the Sox earned a 3-0 series-opening win at Fenway Park.
Besides a pair of home runs, the Boston offense was quiet, but thanks to Sale, it didn’t need much to get the W.
The Red Sox climbed to 61-56 with the win while the Angels fell 56-60 with the loss.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
ON THE BUMP
— Thursday night was all about Sale.
The southpaw was in a zone from the get-go and mowed through his first six innings allowing just one hit, needing just 68 pitches while striking out eight, recording his 200th punch out of the season in the process.
Shohei Ohtani was the only Angel with a base hit through six, bleeding a ball down the third base line that Rafael Devers believed was going foul. The efficiency continued as he was through seven innings after just 85 pitches. He capped the seventh with his 11th strikeout of the game, on a 98 mph fastball.
He capped his evening in the eighth with his 13th strikeout. He allowed just two hits.
— Brandon Workman came on in the ninth and tosses a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Sam Travis put the Red Sox on the board in the second inning.
The first baseman torched a ball over the center field wall for a two-run home run to make it 2-0.
— Sandy Leon added some insurance in the fifth, peppering a ball over the Green Monster to make it 3-0.
— J.D. Martinez paced the attack with two hits, while Benintendi also had a base hit.
TWEET OF THE GAME
The Red Sox continue their four-game set against the Angels on Friday night. First pitch from Fenway Park is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET. Brian Johnson, replacing the injured David Price, is expected to face off against Jaime Barria.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images