Red Sox

Sale dazzles in Red Sox win over Twins, 2-1

sale.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Photo

Sale dazzles in Red Sox win over Twins, 2-1

Chris Sale took the mound for the Red Sox on Wednesday vs the Twins, and he was outstanding.

The 28-year-old ace struck out seven Minnesota hitters in five scoreless innings while allowing only two hits. He did not issue a walk.

On the offensive side of things, Mookie Betts singled to drive in a run in the second inning and Mitch Moreland homered in the third. Other than that, it was a quiet day for the Boston bats.

The Red Sox beat the Twins by a score of 2-1, improving their spring record to 10-8.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

MLB rumors: D'Backs want Jackie Bradley Jr. in trade from Red Sox

MLB rumors: D'Backs want Jackie Bradley Jr. in trade from Red Sox

The Arizona Diamondbacks have Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. high on their wish list of trade targets, according to a Boston Globe report.

Nick Cafardo of the Globe reports that the D'Backs are eyeing Bradley as a replacement for center fielder A.J. Pollock, who they're likely to lose this offseason in free agency.

With the Red Sox rumored to be looking to shed salary and potential salaries (Bradley can become a free agent after 2020), could the Sox be willing to deal their Gold Glove center fielder?

Listening to manager Alex Cora's comments at the winter meetings in Las Vegas, it didn't sound as if JBJ was going anywhere.

"Looking forward to [having] Jackie the whole season. That's going to be cool...," Cora said. "He felt it. He understands who he is now, and I don't think the whole rollercoaster, Jackie Bradley is going to happen again. He understands who he is, and with that offensive approach over 162 games, we'll see what happens."

Bradley finished the regular season hitting .234 (with 17 homers and 59 RBI) to bring up a batting average that had been as low as .178 on June 23. He was the MVP of the ALCS victory over the Astros when he hit two homers, including a grand slam, and had nine RBI. Long considered one of the best defensive center fielders, he won his first Gold Glove last month.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Cora: Benintendi will lead off, Betts will hit second in 2019

Cora: Benintendi will lead off, Betts will hit second in 2019

The defending world champion Red Sox lineup will have a new look in 2019. At least at the top.

Alex Cora said American League MVP Mookie Betts will move to the second spot in the order and Andrew Benintendi will take over as the leadoff hitter from Betts.

Cora said he'd been thinking about the change for the past and a half and wanted to give Betts, who had 80 RBI to go with 32 homers and the A.L. batting title (.346), more RBI opportunities. 

"Beni can be aggressive, too, and he can -- he's a good runner. He gets on base," Cora said. "And I put it this way to Mookie. And I know Beni's okay with it. But if you play 162 games, you're going to come up 162 at-bats with nobody on."

Among players with at least 600 plate appearances, no one had fewer opportunities with runners on base than Betts, with 205. The Astros' George Springer came close, though, at 206. 

Benintendi hit .290 with 16 homers and 87 RBI. He had 21 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .366. He hit No. 2 in the order for 120 of his 148 games. Betts had a .438 OBP and his 30 steals made him the second player in Red Sox history to have a 30/30 season (Jacoby Ellsbury in 2011).

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE