Boston's Sale hit by line drive; says he'll be ready for opener

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Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale departed in the first inning of his final spring start after being hit by a line drive in the hip against the Houston Astros on Saturday at Fort Myers, Fla.

Sale was facing his fourth batter of the game when Houston's J.D. Davis sent a liner right at him. The ball smashed into Sale's left hip and the Boston ace went down to the ground in obvious pain, but seemingly clutching his knee. He told reporters that the ball hit a nerve in his hip and sent numbness down his leg, and he was relieved to hear later that he only suffered a bruise.

"I don't see anything lingering from this," Sale told reporters, insisting he would make Thursday's Opening Day start against the Tampa Bay Rays. "It looked a lot worse than it actually is."

The team's plan for Sale was for him to pitch six innings or 80-90 pitches on Saturday. He threw 10.

"We're going to figure something out over tomorrow and the next day," he said. "Try to build up arm strength to get to where we need to be for Thursday."

Sale was the American League starter for last year's All-Star Game and went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA for the season. He also recorded 308 strikeouts to lead the majors.

He gave up five runs and struck out 19 batters in 14 2/3 innings this spring.

--Field Level Media