David Ortiz exited Thursday’s game with back spasms, but the Red Sox designated hitter has rejoined the lineup and is batting third tonight versus the Rays.
He’ll be facing Rays ace David Price, who plunked Ortiz with a fastball on May 30 in what led to a benches-clearing incident. Ortiz called Price “a little girl” and “a little b****” while adding that next time they faced off “he better bring the [boxing] gloves.”
Presumably enough time has passed for some of the animosity to fade, but Ortiz’s at-bats will definitely be worth watching tonight.
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.