Tigers Manager Offers Respect For Red Sox’s Chris Sale’s Impact

'Everything about Chris Sale is worth it for everybody to pay attention to'

Chris Sale made his first start for Boston since June 1 on Friday, and his impact on Major League Baseball wasn’t lost on Tigers manager A.J. Hinch.

The Red Sox beat Detroit, 5-2, at Fenway Park thanks to a return to form from Sale, who tossed seven strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander retired the first 14 batters before he gave up a home run to Tigers right fielder Kerry Carpenter.

The seven-time All-Star was glad to be back doing what he does best, and Hinch called the outing “vintage Sale” and praised Sale’s return from the injured list.

“We want to beat him,” Hinch told reporters, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “But in the big picture, Chris Sale is an important figure in baseball. He’s a star. He’s a unique pitcher — his size, his angles, the stuff that he’s brought, the success that he’s had, All-Star appearances, Cy Young stuff. Everything about Chris Sale is worth it for everybody to pay attention to.

“So, watching him evolve because of injury is sad, just because, I don’t want anybody to have to go through those injuries. I’m rooting for him from a baseball fan’s standpoint, because he’s done it at the highest level in the most intense environment and on the biggest stage. Guys like that deserve a lot of support.”

Sale and manager Alex Cora were focused on the “big picture” following Friday’s win as the Red Sox continue their fight for the American League wild card. Boston is three games behind the Toronto Blue Jays heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Tigers at Fenway Park.

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First pitch for the middle matchup is scheduled at 4:10 p.m. ET, and you can check out full coverage on NESN starting with pregame at 3 p.m.