Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale allowed two hits in two scoreless innings in his first start of the spring on Monday against the Tigers in Fort Myers, Fla. Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

“Today was a good day,” Chris Sale told reporters after making his first start, not only of spring training, but since a line drive fractured his pinky in the first inning of a game at Yankee Stadium last July.

“It was nice to get that first one out of the way,” he said.

This is the veteran lefty’s first “normal” spring since 2019, and he’s been itching to get in the game. The pandemic, Tommy John surgery, and rib, pinky and wrist fractures are on the list of what’s derailed the last three years of his career.

“Appreciation is not even enough for what, how I feel,” he said when discussing the many people in the organization who’ve helped him get back in the game.

“I’m a baseball player. I’ve done this my whole life. I couldn’t tell you my first memory of playing baseball, because I did it before I knew anything. And that got taken away, for quite a while. And it was frustrating,” he said. “There are tougher times to be had, but you know, I went through a tough time.

“I got it back. And I just, I appreciate it more. I’m trying to have more fun with it, I’m trying to be more open-minded, I’m trying to, you know, soak more things in, and just really appreciate it, because I was 21 not too long ago. First time in spring training, walking around a room, just eyes wide open, looking at these big guys walking around this clubhouse. And I’m here now, and it went fast. And there might’ve been some days I could’ve maybe appreciated things more. Just don’t want that to happen anymore.”


Sale’s spring debut lasted two innings. He allowed a pair of hits, struck out two, and didn’t surrender a walk or run. He displayed solid command of the zone, with 24 strikes in 31 pitches. By his own account, he “threw everything: fastball, changeup, slider.”

“Excellent, excellent,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora told reporters after the game, though he also mentioned Sale’s pitch clock violation and a missed opportunity to cover first base for an additional out. “Spring training for everybody, right? Good pitches, good changeup, good fastball, velo was up,” he said.

Reiterating what he told the Boston Herald last month, Sale’s focus has been command, not velocity. “Today was the first time I’ve seen a number since I started throwing again,” he told reporters, including MLB’s Ian Browne.

He reached 96 mph on Monday.

After fielding a comebacker to end the second inning, which had to feel good given that a comebacker had gotten the best of him in his last game, the 33-year-old lefty walked off the mound smiling.

His day done, he caught up with NESN’s Jahmai Webster in the top of the third. How did it feel, Webster asked.


“It was awesome.”

Six innings later, he was credited with the win.

RED SOX infielder Justin Turner says he and his “chiclets” are doing fine after he was hit in the face by a pitch in Monday’s game. Turner needed 16 stitches but posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday he is “feeling very fortunate” to have no broken bones and his “chiclets” intact.

The pitch from right-hander Matt Manning knocked the 38-year-old Turner to the ground. Medical personnel rushed to Turner at the plate. Turner was bleeding and had a towel on his face as he walked off the field.

Turner and his wife, Kourtney, posted thank you messages on their Twitter accounts for support from fans. Kourtney said Justin had a lot of swelling but was resting at home.

TWINS: Cody Laweryson, a former Valley High and UMaine pitcher, was credited with a win after pitching a scoreless ninth inning Tuesday against the Orioles.


Laweryson, who was invited to major league camp as a non-roster player, entered the game with the Twins trailing 6-5. Minnesota won it with two runs in the bottom of the ninth.

The 25-year-old Laweryson was 6-0 with a 1.81 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings last year in Class A and Class AA, splitting his time between the rotation and the bullpen. After his promotion to Double-A Wichita, he was 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 59 2/3 innings.

REDS: Cincinnati reassigned veteran right-hander Chase Anderson to the major league camp. It’s an indication that Anderson, 35, has a chance to earn an Opening Day roster spot for his 10th big league season.

The Reds need to fill two rotation slots behind their young trio of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft. Anderson, who signed a minor league contract on Feb. 18, pitched two scoreless innings Monday night against Colorado, allowing two hits and striking out five.

“Chase was like we saw at the end of last season,” said Manager David Bell. “The first time we’ve seen him this year, really looked like he was in midseason form. He had a really good changeup, his velocity was really good.”

Anderson was 2-4 with a 6.38 ERA in nine games with the Reds last season.

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