Lefty was a five-time All-Star for Chicago before being dealt to Boston
By Joe Trezza
Chris Sale spent the first seven years of his career ascending up the White Sox's all-time leaderboard in a variety of categories. Now one of the best hurlers in franchise history gets his first chance to face his former team.
Sale will toe the rubber against his former teammates in what will be a noteworthy start for the new Red Sox lefty for several reasons. The first is obvious. Sale became one of the best pitchers in baseball in Chicago, earning five All-Star selections and a strikeout title while going 74-50 with a 3.00 ERA in 228 games (148 starts) for the White Sox.
His start today will also serve as the trail end of the first time Boston is able to trot out its two-headed monster of Sale (5-2, 2.34) and David Price in back-to-back games. Price made his season debut Monday, allowing three runs over five innings.
And it also comes in Chicago, in front of Sale's old fans, and against his former fellow lefty atop the White Sox rotation -- Jose Quintana (2-6, 4.82).
All of which adds up to the highlight of a full Major League slate. Sale vs. Quintana comes at you from Guaranteed Rate Field at 8:10 pm ET.
"I think I'm more looking forward to this opportunity than any other emotion, just because it's fun," Sale told MLB.com. "I'm playing against my friends. It might be hard to not smile out there on the mound at a couple of them."
"He was the best teammate I ever played with," Quintana said of Sale. "I learned from his focus on the game and his passion for baseball. We talked a lot over the years. But the first thing I learned from him was focus."
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Here's what else to watch for throughout the night (all times ET):
All rise again: NYY@BAL, 7:05 p.m Aaron Judge crushed his MLB-leading 17th homer of the year Monday, and the Orioles are all too familiar with the young slugger. Judge is 8-for-20 (.400) with five homers already against the Orioles this season, in just seven games. Tune in to see what he does this time. Chris Tillman (1-1, 4.43) starts for Baltimore against Luis Severino (3-2, 3.11).
C'mon, Cody: LAD@STL, 7:05 p.m
Can anyone stop Cody Bellinger? The high-finishing rookie (have you seen that swing?) has 11 homers in 32 games after going deep in each of the last two. He's turned every at-bat into appointment viewing, which is why his at-bats against Cardinals starter Michael Wacha should be so interesting. Wacha is inducing some of the softest average contact of any pitcher in baseball this season, according to Statcast™.
Big test for Berrios: HOU@MIN, 8:10 p.m
Twins righty Jose Berrios has already earned as many wins (3) in three starts than he did in 14 starts last season. In fact, Berrios has looked nothing like the rookie that struggled to an 8.02 ERA in 2016. He owns a 1.66 mark so far this season, as well as 22 strikeouts against just four walks.
But today should prove his biggest test yet, as Berrios goes up against the Astros, who sport baseball's best record and have a five-game winning streak. Houston's lineup is littered with homer-happy sluggers who hunt fastballs and feast on young righties. A dominant start against the Astros could prove Berrios is for real.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.