FORT MYERS, Fla. – Boston lefthander Chris Sale looked sharp for five shutout innings Wednesday as the Red Sox beat the Twins 2-1 at Hammond Stadium.
The Twins were shut down by Sale, who allowed only two hits — triples to Robbie Grossman and Jorge Polanco — while striking out seven. That was a little different from how the Twins have handled him in recent seasons — Sale is 10-6 against the Twins in his career but has a 4.21 ERA against them.
The challenge for the Twins when facing Sale this season is figuring out how many lefthanded hitters they can start against him. They started four Wednesday with another, Eddie Rosario, out because of an injury.
The Twins lineup now has free-agent signee Logan Morrison, another lefty, who struck out twice against Sale but is 5-for-15 against him in his career. Morrison drove in the Twins’ only run with a bloop single to center off Robby Scott in the seventh inning.
Twins righthander Tyler Duffey, who hasn’t started a regular-season game since the 2016 season, gave up one earned run over three innings on four hits and two walks. He worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first inning by striking out Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland. But he gave up an RBI single to Mookie Betts in the second and a solo home run to Moreland in the third. Duffey allowed at least two baserunners in each of his three innings.
Duffey’s next start is scheduled for Monday against Pittsburgh in Bradenton.
“He battled well,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Duffey. “I don’t think he had his best stuff.”
La Velle E. Neal III