BOSTON (CBS) — It has been over a year since Chris Sale won a regular season game at Fenway Park. A full calendar year.
Sale and the Red Sox will look to end that drought Thursday afternoon when they close out a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays. The lefty is on the hill for the 10th time this season at Fenway, looking to turn around his 0-3 record with a 4.76 ERA at home this season. He got the victory in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees last October, but Sale hasn’t won a regular season game in front of Boston fans since July 11, 2018.
While Boston’s ace has shown signs that he’s close to return to form this season, it hasn’t come in his three recent starts. Sale has been tagged for five runs in each of his last three outings, surrendering 15 runs over 16.1 innings against the White Sox, Blue Jays and Dodgers. He even called himself a “liability” after the Dodgers plated five runs in his 4.2 innings of work last Saturday.
The Blue Jays are one of the worst teams in baseball at 36-61, but they have had no issues against Sale. In his three starts against Toronto this season, Sale is 0-2 with a 7.98 ERA, giving up 13 runs in 14.2 innings. Blue Jays batters are hitting .359 against Sale and have taken him deep four times this season, more than any other opponent.
Here’s the lineup Boston is sending in their matinee against Toronto:
1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Rafael Devers, 3B
3. Xander Bogaerts, SS
4. JD Martinez, RF
5. Christian Vazquez, DH
6. Michael Chavis, 2B
7. Andrew Benintendi, LF
8. Sam Travis, 1B
9. Sandy Leon, C
— Chris Sale, SP
Lefty Thomas Pannone (2-3, 6.18) will get the start for Toronto.