FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox want Chris Sale to go slowly this spring. The ace left-hander is getting used to the plan.

Sale pitched four innings of one-run ball in his first spring training game Friday against Miami. He allowed two hits, struck out five and walked none in Boston’s 5-4 loss.

The Red Sox are monitoring Sale’s workload this spring, so he began his preparations for the season in minor league games on the backfields of the team’s training complex. He got into the upper 90s in the first inning against the Marlins, and Manager Alex Cora and pitching coach Dana LeVangie suggested it might be a good idea to dial it down.

“Had to change it up after that,” Sale said. “I’m still working on that build up. You get out there the first time in front of a crowd and you want to go out there and compete. But you have to understand the end goal. We kind of came to that together. It’s not easy to dial it back and trust the process.

“I have 100 percent trust in our coaching staff, medical staff, strength staff. These guys know what they’re doing. I trust them. They have information and hard facts to back up what it is. We’re all pulling from the same rope.”

Sale threw 58 pitches. He allowed his only run on Justin Bour’s sacrifice fly in his final inning.


Sam Travis and Aneury Tavarez homered for Boston.

PLAYERS’ UNION head Tony Clark claims the Marlins’ rebuilding decision is different from the ones that led to World Series titles for the Chicago Cubs and Houston because Miami broke up a competitive club.

“Those teams didn’t tear themselves down,” Clark said Friday. “Those teams went through rough stretches. And then they added, too. When you start with a team that has a number of talented players and you tear that down, it’s a different conversation than starting from scratch and building up.”

The union filed grievances two weeks ago against Miami, Pittsburgh, Oakland and Tampa Bay, accusing them of not properly using revenue sharing money.

DODGERS: Closer Kenley Jansen was held out of what was to have been his first big league spring training game because of a right hamstring injury.

TIGERS: Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia agreed to a minor league contract and will report to big league spring training.

FORMER RED Sox reliever Koji Uehara, 42, returned to his former Japanese, agreeing to a one-year contract with the Yomiuri Giants worth $1.87 million.

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