In a season full of frustrations, Chris Sale finally boiled over his last time out.
Sale (5-11, 4.68 ERA) has given up at least five runs in five of his last seven outings, the lowest point in what has by far been the worst year of his career. He’ll be opposed in the opener by Angels left-hander Dillon Peters (2-0, 3.20).
Sale actually has had arguably more success against Los Angeles than any other opponent, with a 6-0 record and 1.23 ERA in nine games (seven starts). As this season has proved, though, there is no script for the seven-time All-Star — he entered the year with a 1.75 ERA in 14 starts lifetime against the Yankees but is at 9.90 through four outings against New York after Saturday’s meltdown.
“I think if you look at how my games are going, it’s just pitches that are left out over the plate,” Sale said after the loss. “It seems like guys now are hitting the mistakes. In previous years if you make a few mistakes, you might get away with a couple. Honestly, I haven’t been good, but I haven’t been lucky at all, either. Just seems like every mistake I make gets capitalized on by the other side.”
While the Red Sox are no longer mired in their worst losing streak since 2015, they’re still in a funk, having lost nine of 10. Boston had the rubber match of its three-game series with the visiting Kansas City Royals on Wednesday suspended tied 4-4 in the top of the 10th inning due to unrelenting rain and lightning in the area. The contest will resume Aug. 22 — a mutual day off for both teams.
The Angels are also struggling, having lost a season-high-tying six straight. Well out of the postseason hunt, Los Angeles had Wednesday off after losing 8-4 Tuesday to finish a two-game sweep by the Cincinnati Reds.
In the contest, and a day prior to his 28th birthday, Mike Trout crushed his American League-leading 38th home run of the season. He is once again squarely in the MVP conversation, with his homer total sandwiched between National League front-runners Christian Yelich (39) and Cody Bellinger (37), who was joined by Pete Alonso on Wednesday.
“It’s pretty cool with Yelich and Bellinger,” Trout said. “They are all having great seasons, MVP seasons. It’s fun to watch. Fun to be a part of.”
Peters has been having his share of fun of late with a 2.70 ERA over his last three outings. He gave up three runs in 7 2/3 innings against the Cleveland Indians his last time out, the longest start by an Angels pitcher this season.
Having spent the first two years of his career with the NL’s Miami Marlins, Peters will face Boston for the first time.
After this series, the Red Sox and Angels will renew acquaintances for three more games in Anaheim to conclude August.
–Field Level Media