Sale (1-6) took the loss Friday as the Red Sox were downed 4-3 by the Astros, allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks over six innings while striking out five. Shaky defense by Boston was the difference in the game, as the team committed three errors behind Sale. The southpaw wasn't particularly sharp, throwing 56 of 89 pitches for strikes and whiffing fewer than eight batters for the first time in over a month, but he still delivered his sixth quality start of the year. Sale will try to find his way back into the win column Wednesday, at home against Cleveland.
Sale allowed three runs on four hits and five walks while striking out 10 across 5.1 innings Sunday against the Astros. He did not factor into the decision. Sale continued to rack up strikeouts, but his control failed him as he worked inefficiently. He began only 12 of 26 batters he faced with a strike and needed 106 pitches to record 16 outs. While the Astros present a tough matchup, much of the damage was self-inflicted: One of Sale's earned runs came on a wild pitch, and the other two crossed on on a home run by Carlos Correa. While this outing wasn't a disaster, it was a step back from Sale's previous form. He'll look to bounce back in his next start, currently scheduled for Friday at Houston.
Sale allowed two earned runs on three hits and no walks while striking out 17 across seven innings Tuesday against the Rockies. He did not factor into the decision. Sale quieted any lingering concern regarding his slow start to the season, racking up a career-best 17 strikeouts. That was backed by 24 swinging strikes and 26 called strikes on 108 total pitches. His lone blemish came on a two-run shot by Nolan Arenado in the seventh inning. In his last five starts, Sale has allowed seven earned runs across 33 innings while striking out 59 and walking six. He'll look to keep things on track in his next start, likely to come Sunday at home against Houston.
Sale allowed one earned run on three hits and no walks while striking out 14 across eight innings Wednesday against the Orioles. He did not factor into the decision. Sale was dominant in a positive matchup, generating 24 swinging strikes on 108 total pitches. His average fastball velocity was 93.8 mph -- still nearly two ticks below last season -- but he maxed out at nearly 97 mph. That's a positive sign, as is Sale's recent form as he's allowed just five earned runs across his last five starts -- spanning 26 innings -- while also whiffing 42 batters. He'll draw a tougher matchup his next time out, facing the Rockies in Boston on Tuesday.
Sale (1-5) picked up the win against the White Sox on Friday, striking out 10 and walking one while giving up no earned runs on three hits over six strong innings in the Red Sox' 6-1 victory. The left-hander has endured a tough start to the season, but he looked like his old lights-out self in this one, recording his second double-digit strikeout effort of the year and finally getting his first win. Sale's ERA still sits at a bloated 5.25, but he's now given up just two earned over 13 innings in his past two starts, so he certainly looks ready to put the slow start behind him and get back to his Cy Young-caliber form of past seasons.