Red Sox uncertain of Chris Sale's status for ALCS Game 5 start

David Price

Because the Sox aren't sure how strong Sale will be feeling, they can't say for sure if he'll make his next scheduled start in Game 5 on Thursday.

The Red Sox announced that Sale had been admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital while his teammates were playing the seventh inning of Sunday night's Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against Houston. "Thats my first team win as a starter".

If Alex Bregman was trying to get a rise out of the Boston Red Sox, it didn't work. They saluted him again when Cora came to get him after 4 2/3-one out shy of that elusive first win as a starter-and Price slightly doffed his cap as he walked to the dugout.

"He threw the ball well", said Red Sox manager Alex Cora of Price.

Sale allowed just one hit in four innings against the Astros in Saturday's Game 1 at Fenway, but walked four batters, saw his velocity uncharacteristically low for much of the outing and struggled with his command - especiall with his tradmark slider. The Red Sox bullpen, which had caused Cora trouble during the regular season, continued its postseason redemption tour.

Price told reporters after the Game 2 win that while he recognizes the narratives regarding his lack of postseason success, his focus is on the bigger picture.

Less than 24 hours after enduring sloppy play in a series-opening loss, the Red Sox took advantage of the Astros' miscues to secure a win.

"If it's baby steps, it's baby steps", Price said.




Kimbrel retired the first two batters in the ninth, then George Springer hit his second double of the game.

That ball was caught for the next-to-last out of the game, and the Red Sox survived. The ball caromed off the wall and onto the padding in front of the left field seats, allowing Devers to score the go-ahead run. He added an RBI double in the eighth off Hector Rondon. "It's all strengths. When you look across the board, all 25 guys on the roster are good baseball players all around". He had some bad luck, too? an infield grounder that turned into a costly single and a little flare to right field that drove in the first two of the four runs he surrendered.

"It's definitely appreciated", Price said.

"I put myself aside", he said. "I understand the narratives".

Price wasn't involved in the decision, but the left-hander did leave the game in the fifth with the Red Sox in the lead. "But the less of those (bases-loaded) at-bats that we can get, the better, because he's a ticking time bomb to do some kind of damage". After a delay, Gonzalez stayed in the game.

Asking Rodriguez to move back into the rotation and give a quality start - even five good innings would feel like a great outcome at this point - seems like a big ask, but it is possible, and it might be Boston's best option should Sale be unable to start Game 5.

The Red Sox had Rodriguez make four relief appearances at the end of the regular season to prepare him for his postseason role, so he hasn't made an actual start in almost four weeks now.

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