BOSTON — Chris Sale comes off the disabled list to start for the Boston Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday at Fenway Park.But don’t get excited — Sale will just be working as what is now called Javier Baez Jersey , “the opener,” pitching the first two innings before departing.“Two the first time, hopefully three the second time, then keep going,” Rays manager Alex Cora said. “And then the last one, whenever it is, like a full-go, six or seven innings and 100 pitches.”Article continues below ...Nathan Eovaldi, who has been struggling, will get the long work behind Sale, whose bid for a first Cy Young Award appears to be have been erased by the lack of work.Rookie left-hander Ryan Borucki works for the Jays, who come in after a win Sunday in Cleveland and are playing out the string — using young players amid talk that manager John Gibbons will not return in 2019.Mookie Betts is 5-for-5 with three triples and a double against Borucki. Eduardo Nunez is 3-for-5 (.600) Kyle Schwarber Jersey , and J.D. Martinez and Brock Holt both 2-for-6 (.333). One of Martinez’s hits was a home run.The current Red Sox roster is a cumulative 17-for-41 (.415) against Borucki.Sale is 12-4 with a 1.97 ERA. He has thrown 28 straight scoreless innings and had 10-plus strikeouts in seven of his last eight starts, averaging 15.88 Ks per nine innings during that span.He hasn’t pitched since Aug. 12, when he returned to the DL after making one return start because of left shoulder inflammation.He has thrown five innings since July 27.The injury is not thought to be serious, but combined with Sale’s history of being ineffective late in seasons — including a poor start in last year’s American League Division Series, it is a concern.The Red Sox, who have won 98 games (49 home, 49 road) — salvaged the finale of a three-game series with the Houston Astros, winning Sunday night’s game in what could be a postseason preview (a rematch of 2017?). The win lowered Boston’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot to one and to win the AL East to 12.“That was awesome,” said Boston pitcher Rick Porcello, who started and couldn’t take advantage of a 5-1 lead to get a no-decision. “Good ballclub over there, especially avoiding the sweep, especially the way we did it. It’s a good win for us; we needed it.”The Red Sox have gone 12-4 against the Blue Jays this season chicagocubsteamshop.com/authentic-kerry-wood-jersey , including 6-1 at Fenway.The last time he faced the Blue Jays was May 11, when Sale struck out 15 in a nine-inning no-decision. He is 5-4 with a 2.83 ERA lifetime against Toronto.Borucki faces the Red Sox for the third time this season and the results have not been good. He has worked eight innings, yielding 17 hits and 11 runs (eight earned).Borucki had quality starts in eight of his 13 times on the mound since his recall in late June.The Jays (65-78) have split their last 10 games and gone 10-9 in their last 19.Toronto’s Randal Grichuk avoided a concussion when he collided with a security guard’s chair Sunday in Toronto. He is day to day after tests came back negative.“They took him in to get X-rays and the concussion thing,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said after the game. “He was conscious. I don’t think he blacked out, to be honest with you. “I don’t know that, but I saw him in the clubhouse between innings, and he was grinning and laughing a little bit, so that’s a good sign.”Said Gibbons: “He’s a pretty boy, man. You don’t want to hurt that face.” NEW YORK — On Friday night, Aaron Nola moved into a tie for the National League lead by earning his 16th victory.On Saturday night, Max Scherzer not only broke that tie, he notched his 17th win by becoming the second pitcher in the NL to throw a second complete game this season.Your move Kris Bryant Jersey , Jacob deGrom.Article continues below ...The ace of the New York Mets will look to keep pace with his competition for the NL Cy Young Award on Sunday afternoon, when deGrom takes the mound in the finale of a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.DeGrom (8-8, 1.68 ERA) is scheduled to oppose the Phillies’ Vince Velasquez (9-10, 4.10) in a battle of right-handers.The Mets evened the series Saturday night, when Todd Frazier hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs in a 10-5 victory. Noah Syndergaard earned the win by allowing four runs over a 6 2/3-inning stint that ended when he was hit in the right rib cage by a comebacker off the bat of Cesar Hernandez. X-rays were negative and Syndergaard expects to make his next start as scheduled.The last two days have tightened a Cy Young Award race that has appeared to be tilting in deGrom’s direction over the last couple weeks. Nola’s win Friday snapped a two-start hiccup in which he went 0-1 while allowing seven runs over 12 2/3 innings. Scherzer’s victory ended a three-start winless streak in which he posted a 3.79 ERA.DeGrom, meanwhile, has been doing all he can to take wins out of the equation. He once again didn’t earn a win for his efforts Monday, when he didn’t factor into the decision despite allowing one run on two hits over six innings in the Mets’ 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.It was the 25th straight start in which deGrom gave up three runs or fewer, which broke the modern record set by Dwight Gooden when he won the Cy Young Award for the Mets in 1985 and tied the major league record set by Leonard Cole of the Chicago Cubs in 1910. It was also his 20th straight quality start, breaking the team record set by Tom Seaver in 1973.In addition, it was the 12th time this season deGrom has not earned a win despite pitching at least six innings and giving up two runs or fewer. Mets manager Mickey Callaway has been hoping for weeks deGrom’s tiny ERA — he is more than half a run better than Nola (2.29) and Scherzer (2.33) — will outweigh the lack of wins. No starting pitcher has ever won the Cy Young with fewer than 13 wins.“He’s been the best pitcher in all of baseball,” Callaway told reporters Monday night. “It’s grit and determination. He just won’t be beaten.”The Phillies (74-67) have not been quite as formidable over the past month. If Philadelphia can’t figure out a way to beat deGrom and the Mets (64-77) on Sunday chicagocubsteamshop.com/authentic-addison-russell-jersey , it will mark the 10th straight series in which Phillies have not earned a series victory.The Phillies are 11-19 since a four-game sweep of the Miami Marlins from Aug. 2-5. Despite the slide, Philadelphia is only 3 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.Runs have been at a premium during the skid for the Phillies, who are averaging 3.7 runs per game over the last 30 contests. In hopes of reviving the offense, manager Gabe Kapler unveiled an unorthodox lineup Saturday, when usual first baseman Carlos Santana played third base and range-challenged Asdrubal Cabrera started at shortstop.After the Phillies scored five runs Saturday, Kapler said he might be willing to sacrifice defense again Sunday.“Going up against a pitcher like Syndergaard, going up (Sunday) against a pitcher like deGrom, you have to find a way to score runs,” Kapler said. “Sometimes that means making that tradeoff, putting your best offensive team on the field. We’ll think about doing it again tomorrow.”Velasquez took the loss in his most recent start Monday, when he allowed three runs over five innings as the Phillies fell to the Marlins 3-1.DeGrom is 7-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 14 career starts against the Phillies. Velasquez is 1-3 with a 3.78 ERA in seven career starts against the Mets.
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