The Red Sox needed a sharp performance on the mound Friday night, and their ace delivered.
Chris Sale tossed five scoreless innings in Boston’s series-opening win over Texas. The star southpaw surrendered five hits while striking out five Rangers with only one walk. Sale tossed 71 pitches in his second start since returning from the injured list, 49 of which were strikes.
“I think I was a little bit more consistent today,” Sale told reporters, per MassLive. “I had a couple pitches that I was fighting against myself. But for the most part, it felt like for me anyways that the more the game went on, the more kind of in sync everything was. And everything just had a little bit more life to it at the end.”
Among the pitches Sale was “fighting” against himself for was the slider, which the seven-time All-Star is working to regain a feel for.
“That’s one of my tools I’m still sharpening,” Sale told reporters. “It’s weird because I had a really good feel for it a few weeks ago. And just over the last couple — like I said, I’m fighting myself right now. I have some things I have to get better at. And that’s one of them. It will get there. I know it will. It’s just little things right now with getting my arm out and fighting my front side. Consistency will come with repetition.”
Barring changes, Sale’s next start should come Thursday against the Minnesota Twins in Boston.