BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The Red Sox closed out the Yankees with a 4-3 survival last night in New York. Next stop, the American League Championship Series, and Boston's top pitcher will be ready to come right back after a surprising relief appearance.
The Red Sox slotted Chris Sale for a Game 5 start, but he wanted to make sure that game never happened. Boston's ace told manager Alex Cora, if he needed him Game 4 in the Bronx, he'd be ready. Cora ultimately turned to the Cy Young candidate for a 13-pitch, perfect eighth inning.
"He's been talking about it for three days already," said Cora. "He did an outstanding job."
Reliever Matt Barnes was grateful. "Chris is a bulldog. He's going to do whatever it takes for this team to win," Barnes said. "He did a phenomenal job coming out of the bullpen, and it was awesome."
Sale says he'll be ready to start the ALCS opener against the defending-champion Astros Saturday at Fenway.
"It doesn't get much better than this," said the star pitcher. "This is what we've all wanted our entire lives. So to get it is special. We're not done yet."
Sale's 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA in seven career regular-season starts versus Houston. But, an 8.38 ERA opposite the Astros in two losses last October.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman reports