Red Sox newcomer Chris Sale tunes up for spring debut
Even a spring tuneup for Chris Sale drew a nice crowd.
The Boston newcomer threw a two-inning simulated game Wednesday morning in preparation for his first spring training action, saying ''everything is going as planned.''
Sale stayed at camp in Fort Myers, Florida, while the Red Sox traveled to Sarasota to face the Orioles. The lefty ace faced teammates Dan Butler and Steve Selsky, with catcher Sandy Leon behind the plate and fellow pitchers David Price and Steven Wright watching from the third base dugout.
Sale then threw to three additional batters as pitching coach Carl Willis, vice president of pitching development and assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister looked on along with former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield.
''Felt good,'' Sale said. ''Today was a good work day. Great to pitch on the game mound with no screen. Everything went well.''
Acquired Dec. 6 from the retooling Chicago White Sox for four top prospects, Sale threw 38 pitches. There was some solid contact in the first inning, when Butler lined what would have been a single to center.
''Threw all of my pitches,'' Sale said. ''In the second inning focusing mostly on fastball/change-up. Those are my feel pitches, so I just wanted to throw those more, just for repetition.''`
Sale is slated to start Monday against Houston in West Palm Beach.
''I think I was ready on Dec. 7,'' Sale said. ''I've been preparing for this, so I'm feeling good.''
The left-hander, who turns 28 on March 30, is part of a rotation that includes reigning AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and Price, who won the prize in 2012.
''Now we're starting to playing real baseball and not throwing off the side mounds or simulated games,'' Sale said. ''I'm excited. It will be fun.''
He has never pitched in the postseason. The Red Sox, swept by Cleveland in the AL Division Series last year, hope to win their fourth World Series title since 2003.
''I have expectations for myself wherever I am or whatever year it is,'' Sale said. ''I've been like that at a young age. I demand a lot of myself at a high level. If I don't meet those expectations, there's nobody more upset than I am. For right now, just putting in the work to get to the promised land.''
AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES
ANGELS 3, RANGERS 2
AL MVP Mike Trout got two hits and was hit by a pitch from A.J. Griffin. The Angels are 5-0 this spring, and are unbeaten in their last 16 exhibition games (14-0-2) dating to last year.
Trout has reached base in all five of his plate appearances this spring. Newcomer Jesse Chavez started and struck out three in two innings.
Rangers starter Martin Perez gave up a run in five hits, working into the third inning.
PIRATES 3, TWINS 1
Joe Mauer made his spring debut for the Twins and was hit by a pitch from Josh Lindblom his first time up. Mauer also walked and struck out.
Lindblom, who spent the last two seasons in Korea, started for Pittsburgh and pitched two scoreless innings. John Jaso had two hits for the Pirates, including a home run.
Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson, who overhauled his delivery in the offseason and said his slider was ''pretty bad,'' lasted less than two innings, giving up two runs on six hits.
CARDINALS 6, METS 1
St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez allowed only one hit over three innings. Randal Grichuk homered, doubled and drove in four runs.
Cardinals prospect Luke Weaver got two outs before exiting with back spasms.
Highly touted Amed Rosario had two hits for the Mets. Michael Conforto kept up his strong spring with another two-hit game.
PHILLIES 5, RAYS 5, 9 INNINGS
Jesus Sucre, acquired this month from the Mariners, hit a two run-run homer for Tampa Bay. Starter Jake Odorizzi opened with two scoreless innings.
Aaron Altherr, who missed the start of last season after a spring training injury, hit a bases-loaded triple and double, a day after homering. Philadelphia starter Vince Velasquez threw two shutout innings.
TIGERS (ss) 5, BLUE JAYS 4
Michael Fulmer struck out three in two scoreless innings and James McCann had two hits and drove in two runs for Detroit.
Dalton Pompey homered in his first spring game for Toronto and Kevin Pillar had two hits. Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson took batting practice for the first time since straining his right calf on Feb. 17.
NATIONALS 9, TIGERS (ss) 1
Joe Ross got off to a nice start for Washington by retiring six of seven batters, including Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera in order in the first.
A day after hitting a game-ending homer, Michael A. Taylor hit another home run and drove in three for the Nationals.
Detroit starter Mike Pelfrey allowed two runs in 1 2/3 innings.
ORIOLES 12, RED SOX 5
Adam Jones hit two homers and drove in three runs and Orioles starter Dylan Bundy gave up one earned run in two innings.
Boston's Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run homer.
MARLINS 9, ASTROS 5
Christian Yelich homered and Miguel Rojas' three-run shot ended the day for Houston starter Chris Devenski with one out in the second inning.
Marlins starter Tom Koehler pitched two innings and allowed one run. Houston's Carlos Correa had a double and a walk.
PADRES (ss) 5, ATHLETICS 0
San Diego catcher Christian Bethancourt pitched a perfect eighth inning, part of experiment at giving him double duty this year. He threw 11 pitches, seven for strikes.
Trevor Cahill struck out three in two innings for the Padres Wil Myers launched his first homer onto the berm in left field. Jabari Blash hit his second homer in as many days, a two-run opposite-field homer to right.
Oakland starter threw Sonny Gray struck out four in two scoreless innings.
CUBS 7, ROYALS 3
Former Cubs catcher David Ross drew most of the buzz in camp after it was announced he would appear on this season's ''Dancing with the Stars'' on ABC. NL MVP Kris Bryant called Ross the ''early favorite'' and manager Joe Maddon said this will be ''the first time I'll ever watch that show.''
Alcides Escobar hit a leadoff homer off Chicago newcomer Eddie Butler in the first.
Royals starter Nathan Karns, acquired from Seattle, struck out three in two innings. Reliever Bobby Parnell allowed three runs in the ninth.
ROCKIES 3, PADRES (ss) 1
Tony Wolters had two hits, making him 5 for 8 this spring, and Nolan Arenado drove in a run for the Rockies. Starter Tyler Chatwood went two innings, allowing a run in the first after leadoff hit Manuel Margot tripled.
San Diego starter Paul Clemons went three innings, giving up a two-out RBI single to Arenado in the first. Cesar Vargas walked five and gave up two runs in the fourth.
BREWERS 3, REDS 2
Zack Cozart, among a few veterans who haven't been traded away from the Reds, hit a no-doubt home run on the second spring pitch he saw.
Cozart tore two ligaments and a tendon in his right knee while running out a ground ball midway through the 2015 season. He returned last year but was limited to 121 games because of soreness in the knee.
Milwaukee leadoff hitter Keon Broxton homered.
MARINERS 7, INDIANS 4
Trevor Bauer pitched three scoreless innings and gave up four hits for Cleveland. Michael Martinez homered, had three hits and drove in three runs.
Mariners starter Drew Smyly struck out two in two shutout innings. Leonys Martin had two doubles among his three hits.
WHITE SOX 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2
White Sox starter James Shields allowed two hits and struck out two in two innings, Nicky Delmonico homered and Leury Garcia had a two-out, walk-off single.
Chicago reliever Nate Jones bruised his right knee and is day-to-day.
Jake Lamb doubled and singled for Arizona.
YANKEES 8, BRAVES 7
Jaime Garcia tossed two innings in his Atlanta debut and gave up Jacoby Ellsbury's solo homer.
Ellsbury went 2 for 2 and scored twice. Starlin Castro also had two hits, and Matt Holliday added an RBI double for New York.
Trying to win a spot in the Yankees' rotation, Bryan Mitchell did not allow a hit in three shutout innings. Dellin Betances worked a scoreless inning in relief.
DODGERS 7, GIANTS 6
Joc Pederson hit a three-run homer for Los Angeles after starter Scott Kazmir went 1 2/3 innings.
Matt Cain had a rocky start for San Francisco, allowing five hits and three runs over two innings. Jarrett Parker doubled and hit a three-run homer.