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Alex Cora announces the date for Chris Sale’s 2023 season debut



Red Sox

Chris Sale is expected to make his first start at Fenway Park since Sept. 22, 2021.

Chris Sale is expected to pitch in Boston’s second game of the 2023 season. Jim Davis / Globe Staff

Chris Sale won’t be given the ball for Opening Day at Fenway on March 30.

But the southpaw won’t have to wait very long to get back on the mound for the Red Sox.

Alex Cora confirmed on Wednesday that Sale will get the start in Boston’s second game of the season, April 1 against the Orioles, according to Ian Browne of 

Cora announced earlier in spring training that Corey Kluber will get the nod for Opening Day, with the two-time Cy Young Award winner looking to build off of an encouraging stretch of starts against Grapefruit League competition. 


Sale acknowledged earlier this month that he was not expected to start on Opening Day, adding that he “understood” Cora’s decision to delay his season debut.  

“[Cora] told me a while ago, and honestly, I really appreciate it,” Sale said on “The Bradfo Sho” podcast back on March 13. “He’s right, the last few opening days have been bittersweet for me, I guess. Opening Day is always a magical day, it’s Christmas for baseball players. When you don’t get to play, it’s like showing up to Christmas with no toys.  

“It still is great, it still is fun, I still enjoy it, I still appreciate it – but I definitely understood why he did that. And I just appreciate that. To be able to soak it all in and enjoy that day as a whole and not have the stress of getting ready for it and all this other stuff. And it’s my birthday.”

Barring any unforeseen setbacks, Sale’s start on April 1 will mark the first time that the lefty has pitched at Fenway since Sept. 22, 2021.

Multiple injuries have limited Sale to just 48.1 innings pitched over the last three seasons. But the 33-year-old hurler has put together promising returns during limited action this spring.

In his first two starts down in Florida, Sale did not relinquish a run over five innings of work while striking out seven batters. His third outing on Monday against the Orioles didn’t go as well, as he was roughed up for six runs and nine hits over five total innings.

But Sale wasn’t fretting about his final pitching line after speaking with reporters.


“In a way, it’s almost good to get that out of the way, try to be in some tough situations and have to be out there feeling like I felt, you know, and getting through it,” Sale said, per Browne. “So just a good, terrible start in a way.”

Source: Boston Globe

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