Red Sox's Sale ready to show his stuff to Orioles

Field Level Media

Boston ace Chris Sale looks to continue his recent success when the Red Sox meet the host Baltimore Orioles in the second of a three-game series Saturday.

The Red Sox are going for their fourth straight win after bombing the Orioles 13-2 on Friday night.

Sale (2-7, 3.52) hasn't given up an earned run in his last two starts while totaling 22 strikeouts in 16 innings. On June 10 against the Rangers, Sale gave up an unearned run on three hits over seven innings while striking out 10 and walking one.

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After struggling in his first four starts, Sale has a 2.17 ERA and 106 strikeouts in has past 10 starts.

"Obviously, it was a struggle early in the season," Red Sox manager Alex Cora told the Boston Herald of Sale's early problems. "It was fastball command, then the next one was a slider, then it was mechanics and all that. He's put everything together.

"Physically he feels great, he's healthy, which is the most important thing. I know a lot of people were worried about that early in the season, but there was nothing there," Cora said.

Sale's individual success hasn't often translated into wins, though, as the Red Sox are 4-10 when he starts. That could change Saturday, as Sale has 7-2 career record against Baltimore and a 2.54 ERA in 19 games, including 13 starts.

Another pitcher on a roll is Baltimore right-hander Dylan Bundy (3-7, 4.50). Bundy has a 3.02 ERA since the beginning of May, allowing three earned runs or fewer in his past seven starts.

In his last time out, Bundy gave up three runs (two earned) in six innings of a shutout loss to the Houston Astros. He retired the first eight batters he faced and struck out six while walking one.

"His pitch mix, and this has been talked about quite a bit, is just outstanding," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde told the Baltimore Sun. "His secondary stuff is really good, letting his fastball play. He's competing. I love the look from him out on the mound, and he's giving us a chance to win every time out. He's doing a great job."

He'll face a Boston lineup that blasted a season-high six home runs, two by J.D. Martinez, in Friday's rout. Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley Jr., Michael Chavis and Christian Vazquez also homered.

Martinez reached base five times and Bradley added a double and a walk to his home run.

"That's what good ballclubs do -- they are able to put things together as a team and everyone is pulling in the same direction, and that equates to wins," Bradley told MLB.com.

The Red Sox suffered a blow off the field when reliever Heath Hembree was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow extensor strain.

Hembree has a 2.51 ERA and 1.12 WHIP while striking out 35 in 28 2/3 innings. He is expected back as soon as the 10 days are over.

"He's throwing the ball so well," Cora told the Herald. "Rather not take the chance. Made the move. He feels he should be fine sooner rather than later. It's nothing major."

Orioles third baseman Hanser Alberto was removed from Friday's loss due to illness in the top of the fifth.

--Field Level Media

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