Red Sox

Report: Previously undisclosed toe injury was holding Sale back

Report: Previously undisclosed toe injury was holding Sale back

Chris Sale's 17-strikeout performance this week made you almost forget about the lost pitcher with an 8.50 ERA after four starts who was saying, "I don't know if I've ever pitched like this in my life."

While Sale insisted he was healthy back when he was struggling, Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic reports that the Red Sox ace lefty was dealing with a previously undisclosed toe injury that contributed to the alarming drop in velocity and led to an 0-5 April.

“Chris’ spring training was different,” Sox pitching coach Dana LeVangie told McCaffrey. “We tried to do the exact same things we did last year. The only difference is, Chris was going through contract negotiations, [but] he had a little bit of a toe injury that slowed him down a little bit, so there were some things that led up to the early-on stuff. I basically felt like he was going through his spring training, sort of in April.”

Another adjustment, LeVangie said, was Sale's arm path. “We wanted a cleaner line going back, rather than straight behind him and it didn’t allow him to work more back to front in his delivery.” 

The improved extension the arm path tweak has added velocity to the fastball and, according to The Athletic Analytics guru Eno Sarris, Sale is releasing the ball an inch closer to the batter than before. "It doesn't allow the hitter to see the ball so long," said LeVangie.

Sale hit 96 mph once on the Fenway gun while striking out 17 Rockies on Tuesday and while the days of him regularly topping out at 97-99 appear gone, he's been effective at 93-94 with a devastating slider and there's no arguing with his recent numbers: a 1.29 ERA in three May starts with 10, 14 and 17 strikeouts. 

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Report: Yankees land slugger Edwin Encarnacion in trade with Mariners

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Report: Yankees land slugger Edwin Encarnacion in trade with Mariners

The MLB trade deadline is more than a month away, but the Boston Red Sox's arch rival already is making moves.

On Saturday, the New York Yankees reportedly acquired slugger Edwin Encarnacion in a trade with the Seattle Mariners.

Seattle gets pitching prospect Juan Then in return.

Encarnacion will be inserted into an already-fearsome lineup that soon will have both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge back from their injury rehab assignments. While New York is set offensively, they likely will be searching for pitching help before the July 31 trade deadline.

In his age 36 season, Encarnacion currently leads the American League in home runs with 21. He has hit 20+ homers in each of his last eight seasons.

The first-place Yankees are five games ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East.

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Highlights from the Red Sox 7-2 over the Orioles

Highlights from the Red Sox 7-2 over the Orioles

FINAL SCORE: Red Sox 7, Orioles 2

IN BRIEF: Chris Sale was sharp yet again for the Red Sox as they won their second straight against the Orioles. J.D. Martinez hit a home run again, extending his homer streak to three games. 

BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 38-34

HIGHLIGHTS:

6th inning

Xander Bogaerts doubles down the left field line, Devers scores (1-0 BOS)

Brock Holt singles to right, Bogaerts scores (2-0 BOS)
Sandy Leon safe a first after error from Alberto, Holt scores (3-0 BOS)

Renato Nunez doubles to right, Alberto scores (3-1 BOS)
Jonathan Villar hits a SAC fly to right, Mancini scores (3-2 BOS)

7th inning

J.D. Martinez homers again (4-2 BOS)

9th inning

Xander Bogaerts SAC fly (5-2 BOS)
Holt RBI single (6-2 BOS)
Devers scores on throwing error (7-2 BOS)

UP NEXT:

@Orioles, Sunday, 1:05 p.m., NESN
@Twins, Monday, 8:10 p.m., NESN
@Twins, Tuesday, 8:10 p.m., NESN

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