It’s become pretty clear that if the Boston Red Sox want to return to the postseason for the fourth straight season, they’ll need, among other things, their starting pitching to get on track.

Thursday was a pretty good start.

Boston sent Chris Sale to the mound to face the Los Angeles Angels in the series opener of a four-game set at Fenway Park. It’s been a trying season for Sale, who at times has looked like his typical self, but periodically has struggled.

But he mowed down the Angels lineup with relative ease, pitching eight shutout innings and allowing two hits with 13 strikeouts in Boston’s 3-0 win. Appropriately, he capped off his night with a 97-mph fastball to complete a strikeout on his 99th pitch of the night.

Take a look at all 13 punchouts here.

The Red Sox and Angels will play Game 2 on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Brian Johnson will get the ball for Boston.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images