Making his first rehab appearance for Double-A New Hampshire, Jose Bautista had two homers, including a grand slam, on Thursday night.
The rehabbing Adam Lind was also in the lineup for the Fisher Cats and went 1-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts.
Needless to say, the Jays are more excited about the prospect of getting Bautista back. He’s expected to be activated Friday after missing five weeks with a wrist injury. Lind is probably at least a few days away.
Anthony Gose, who went 0-for-4 in Thursday’s loss to the Tigers and is hitting .183 with 36 strikeouts in 82 at-bats since his callup, figures to be sent down to make room for Bautista.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.