screen-shot-2017-03-07-at-1-40-52-pmBy Sean Stackhouse 3/6/2017

This is not what the Red Sox had in mind when they acquired Chris Sale. Sale was rocked in his first pitching performance in a Red Sox uniform on Monday.

Sale went two innings giving up four hits and two runs against the Astros. After giving up an unearned run in the first, the Astros tagged him in the second inning. The lefty gave up three hits and an earned run in a disappointing spring debut. A bright spot for Sale was his 26 strikes on 37 pitches while picking up two strikeouts. Boston and Houston played to a 5-5 tie.

As for the run problem, that comes with time. This is his first start in a new uniform and a lot goes comes through repetition in spring training. We know he can throw strikes and he showed that in spurts Monday.

This is still the same pitcher who has finished in the top six in Cy Young Award voting in each of the past five years. Based on his history, its likely this is just a shaky spring start, nothing more. Bad starts happen throughout a career. This one happened to be in his first outing in red socks, so it’s being watched a lot more critically.

Manager John Farrell has not decided his starter for Opening Day against the Pirates. Sale, David Price, and reigning AL Cy Young Rick Porcello all seem to have an even chance at the gig. It is safe to say Sale’s would like a do-over based on his first audition in Boston.