BOSTON — Chris Sale was scheduled to face the White Sox, who traded him in December, a second time this season.
But a rainout changed all that. So Sale, who gave up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits in the Red Sox’ 10-6 win over the White Sox and Jose Quintana on May 30 at Guaranteed Rate Field, won’t have another chance to make up for one of his few bad starts this season. Sale was supposed to pitch Sunday in the final game of a four-game series at his new home, Fenway Park, but the Red Sox rainout against the Indians Wednesday pushed their starting rotation back a day.
“Judging on the touchdown that they put on me last time, no,” Sale said when asked if he’s disappointed about missing the 41-65 White Sox.
Instead of facing the struggling White Sox, who have lost 20 of their last 24 games, Sale will pitch against the Rays near his home in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Tuesday after the Red Sox’ off day. Sale is 13-4 with a 2.70 ERA and 216 strikeouts in 153 1/3 innings.
“But I enjoyed pitching in Chicago and facing them,” he said. “It’s always fun facing your friends and stuff like that. It would have been fun. I would have liked to pitch against them.”
Sale getting traded to Boston in December set the White Sox rebuild in motion. Both clubs, heading in different directions on different plans, seem satisfied with how the deal is working out.
“That’s how it works,” he said. “They know the direction they are going in. They could be pretty darn good here in a few years. I’ve said it before, I think with [manager] Ricky [Renteria] leading the way, he’s got a great presence over there. Obviously talking with a few of the guys stuff like that, they said he’s really set a tone over there. It’s good to see. It’s good to hear about.”
The tone in Boston is all about winning, which Sale has embraced. His cutting up of throwback uniforms on a promotion night he was supposed to pitch underscored his frustration over the White Sox not winning while he was there. It’s obvious he is thriving on pitching for a contender before sold-out crowds at Fenway.
“This is a perennial team to go to the playoffs and realistic goals of winning the World Series,” Sale said. “The history not only with this team but in this ballpark. Pitching here is as fun as any place in baseball. I even said that when I was with Chicago, that I loved it down here.
“Fans here have embraced me and made me feel welcome. I’m enjoying it so far.”
Sale walked out to left field before the series opener here Thursday and embraced his former teammates, those who have stuck around during the Sox recent selloff of players for prospects.
“It’s one of those things that’s bittersweet,” he said. “You are sad to leave your friends but you are obviously excited for the new opportunity. Seeing [Quintana] go to the [Cubs on the] North Side where they are in the thick of things, I’m just happy for him.”