Heath Bell turns to mom for help after save


Arizona’s Heath Bell escaped Skip Schumaker’s leadoff double to earn a save, his second in two nights, in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the Dodgers. Afterwards, he had a little heart to heart with mom:


Well, of course not, because once you learn the secret to retiring Skip Schumaker, you’ve got it made.

Mom is right about one thing, though: Schumaker is now 5-for-9 with four doubles against Bell. The only other pitcher Schumaker has as many doubles against is Ryan Dempster, and he’s faced Dempster 56 times. His double tonight was just his second extra-base hit in 54 at-bats this season, and it raised his average from .135 to .151.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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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.