Red Sox

Chris Sale’s Game 2 start ends after one inning

Sale gave up five runs, including a grand slam to Jordan Luplow.

Chris Sale walks off the mound during his start in Game 2 of the ALDS. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Chris Sale’s start in Game 2 of the ALDS was short-lived.

The Red Sox’s lefty ace pitched just one inning, giving up five runs on four hits, one walk, and two strikeouts.

Tampa Bay’s bats got to Sale from the jump. Randy Arozarena hit Sale’s first pitch of the game, a 94 mph fastball, to left-center for a single. On Sale’s second pitch, Wander Franco — hitting from the right side of the plate — hit a 78 mph slider to right field.

Sale did bounce back to strike out Brandon Lowe, throwing a slider on all five pitches. But he walked Nelson Cruz on four pitches to load up the bases. Yandy Díaz singled to right in the next at-bat to score Arozarena.

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The lowest point for Sale came against Jordan Luplow. The right-handed hitting first baseman quickly went down 0-2 in the count, but on the third pitch, he pulled Sale’s 94 mph fastball to left for a no-doubter 387-foot grand slam, giving the Rays a 5-2 lead.

To add to Sale’s low point, Ludlow’s batting average against lefties this season was just .167.

Sale did get the next two hitters out, getting Manuel Margot to fly out and striking out Michael Zunino to end the inning. That was the end of Sale’s day though, making it just the second time in his career that he pitched just one inning in a start. The other time that happened was on Sept. 11, 2018, when he was pulled early in his first start since returning from an injury.

Friday’s short start for Sale comes after he pitched just 2 1/3 innings against the Nationals on Sunday. In that start, he allowed two runs on four hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts.

In his last start against the Rays, Sale allowed five runs (one earned) on 10 hits, one, walk, and six strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings pitched.

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