Red Sox, Rays scoreless after four in ALDS Game 4


Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson had a clean 12-pitch first inning in this ALDS Game 4 in Tampa Bay, but he allowed back-to-back walks to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli to open the top of the second and then a Daniel Nava single loaded the bases and abruptly drove the Rays starter from the game.

It’s a wonder — given the obvious lack of faith and poor regular season output — why Hellickson drew this assignment in the first place. But credit Tampa Bay for the pulling the plug right away. The Rays escaped damage in the second when Jamey Wright fanned Jarrod Saltalamacchia and James Loney turned a heads-up doubleplay on a hard Stephen Drew lineout. Matt Moore entered in the top of the third to do some inning-eating.

Red Sox starter Jake Peavy has thrown up zeroes through his easy first four frames.

It’s a 0-0 deadlock as the top of the fifth inning gets underway at Tropicana Field.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

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.