A lot of guys hit two homers in a game. Happens a couple of times a week, more or less. But Jay Bruce doing it last night was a bit more notable: his bombs were the first and second homers hit by a left-hander off Clayton Kershaw all season long.
Kershaw may normally be murder on lefties, but Bruce is no mere lefty. Despite starting the season in a prolonged slump — and despite getting sensitive about it at times — Bruce is sitting at 268/.330/.496 with 29 homers and 93 RBI on the season. Not too shabby.
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.