Cora: Chris Sale to start Game 1 of ALCS

HOUSTON — LHP Chris Sale will start Game 1 of the American League Championship Series for the Boston Red Sox, manager Alex Cora announced Thursday afternoon. Nathan Eovaldi, who was the presumed starter for the opening contest against the Houston Astros, will take the mound for Boston in Game 2.

“At one point [Sale] has to pitch in this series,” Cora said. “We’re very comfortable with him going tomorrow [...] I expect him to go out there and pitch a good game and give us a chance to win.”

Sale has struggled as of late, throwing 1 inning in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. In that contest, Sale surrendered five earned runs on four hits, including a grand slam to Jordan Luplow. He walked one batter and struck out two.

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Since returning from the injured list in August 2021, Sale has a 3.16 ERA in nine appearances. He’s earned the win five times and suffered one loss, but he has given up multiple runs in all but three outings since his return from the shelf.

The lanky lefty has faced Houston three times in his postseason career, going 0-2 with one no-decision in a game the Sox also lost. He’ll look to notch his first playoff win since Game 4 of the 2018 ALDS when he toes the rubber for Boston on Friday.

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