BOSTON (CBS) — A pair of Boston stars got their first game action of the spring on Sunday.
Red Sox ace Chris Sale and new slugger J.D. Martinez took the field for a “controlled” Minor League game down in Fort Myers, Florida on Sunday, an opportunity to put in a good amount of work before seeing the field for their first Grapefruit League action.
In controlled games, the team can decide when innings end, and most importantly, give Martinez an at-bat every inning. The 30-year-old made the most of the opportunity, going 3-for-3 with a a pair of singles, a double and three walks.
Sale, meanwhile, was his dominant self on the mound, striking out five while surrendering just one walk and one hit over four innings of work. The lefty tossed 52 pitches in his tune-up outing, and is expected to make his Grapefruit League debut later this week.
“Personally, I get a lot out of it,” Sale said of his day’s work. “Anytime I get on the mound, I’m not there messing around. There’s no, ‘Oh, this is just a side session,’ ‘This is just a live BP,’ whatever. This is work to get better. Maybe adrenaline can take it a little higher, obviously the energy in the ballpark can raise it, but it doesn’t make your effort really go down.
“I enjoy it. I appreciate the guys going out there and putting it all together for me and other guys to get our work in. There’s never a time you go out there lackadaisical and not thinking that this is going to be a step in the right direction towards getting better and getting prepared,” he said.
There is no timetable for Martinez, who officially signed with the team early last week, to make his Grapefruit League debut, but he hinted that it may happen later this week. He too said he got a lot out of Sunday’s action.
“Definitely, it was good to get some live pitching and start seeing the ball a little bit,” he said.
Infielder Eduardo Nunez also saw his first action of the spring on Sunday, going 1-for-4 at the plate.
The Red Sox have an off day on Monday, but David Price is scheduled to make his spring debut in a controlled Minor League game.